Senior Dinner Speech by Emmett O’Malley

How much are we going to miss this place? Now that’s a good question. So good, in fact, that there is no clear answer. For any of us.

I think sometimes, we’re going to miss the campus, I think sometimes we’re going to miss competing in a Williston uniform, I think sometimes we’re going to miss that ineffably comforting vibe every Williston classroom exudes, I think sometimes we’re going to miss the people that make Williston Williston, and I think sometimes we’re going to miss signing every sheet that doesn’t cover our bed before battling the world beyond Nini’s.

Okay, that last one was a bit of a stretch, but the one before that, yep, I think that’s the one. That’s what we have to cherish. That’s what we’ll carry with us forever. Our relationships. The ones we’ve all founded with peers, faculty, and staff that have shaped our time here.

To us—the students—the teachers here at Williston have become our best friends, our intellectual role models, and our savvy mentors. We’ve cried to them; we’ve laughed with them; and they, in turn, have been there with us and for us in a variety of venues and in a variety of ways. We are extraordinarily privileged to have spent our high school years with such high-quality people; and they are, in all likelihood, what we are going to miss the most.

May 24 is not the end of our friendships with our fellow graduates, and it is not the end of our friendships with our teachers, but it may be the last time in our lives where we can learn so much from people who are both our superiors and our friends. It may be the last time we can operate in a truly collaborative academic environment. If nothing else, these last nine days are a time for us to cherish the interpersonal connections we have made at Williston, and to thank our altruistic mentors.

I don’t know Ms. Davey nearly as well as I’ve come to know many other teachers here, but I know our grade has chosen her to represent the faculty, and I know that there is no higher honor the Class of 2015 can bestow. Moreover, I have checked out Ms. Davey’s street cred with my peeps, and she’s most definitely good people.

Ms. Davey, the Class of 2015 has chosen you because we think you embody what makes Williston so special—you embody the care, intelligence, and infectious charisma that the faculty bring to the table every single day. That charisma, that intelligence, and that ethic of care, is the basis for the Class of 2015’s adoration of this place. You embody what has made the last four years so special to me, and what has made Williston such a special place for so many people.

To all of the faculty in the room: I offer you the sincerest of “Thank yous.” To the Class of 2015’s dear friend, and to the faculty’s representative, Ms. Davey: the floor is yours. I’m pumped.

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