Miss UAPB Inaugural Speech
Miss UAPB Inaugural Ad
April 30, 2012
Written by: RauLanda Watley
To Chancellor Johnson, Vice Chancellor Bennett, President Nwankwo, and you my fellow students whose esteem for my vision has placed me in this position.
82 women have stood before me taking this oath to serve as Miss University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Women who sought to ratify the role of campus queen. Being exemplary crusaders for progress, change, and positive images of women.
Today, I pick up the torch as the 83rd Miss University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff using yesterday as a foundation and tomorrow as motivation to carry out critical tasks today; tasks that will strengthen us as students and build us as leaders.
I stand on the platform “Embracing the Queen in You.” This is not to disregard my kings out there, but to inspire each of us to realize that it is not a crown that makes you royal but a relentless will to succeed.
The oath I’ve taken today is my commitment to be a champion for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. But no soldier has ever achieved victory in a solitary battle. But in solidarity we’ll shrike a mighty blow.
We must put on the armor and take charge of manifesting the UAPB we dream of that we want to see. We won’t win every battle. There will be temporary setbacks. But as long as we continue the fight in unity we’ll defeat every one.
Yesterday, today, tomorrow that’s all we have. Yesterday, we produced generations of pioneers whose contributions have significantly enhanced our lives. From the medical field to trailblazing athletes we have solidified our spot as a stakeholder.
Today, we enter a new era under the direction of Dr. Laurence Alexander, a man that I am happy to say this is not just a job for him but a calling. We have laid the groundwork for a renewed nursing program; we’ve put ourselves on the forefront of innovative science and technology with the environmentally friendly Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics building. We’ve added two new phD programs with the Master of Science in Agriculture Relations and Master of Science in Aquaculture/Fisheries. The world renowned Vesper Choir continues to bring awareness to the pertinence of the arts and the Marching Musical Machine of the Mid South has yet again been selected amongst the top 10 bands in the nation to compete in the Honda Battle of the Bands.
But we can’t let the contentment of good overshadow the need to be great. These achievements are merely a blueprint for things to come.
First, I want you to ask your self this question. Will I be a graduate or will I be an alumnus? Graduates acquire a degree and never look back to help their fellow man. They go about their lives never thinking what they can do to help another student walk across that stage. But alumni earn their degree and turn and ask what they can do to ensure that someone else’s load is a little lighter. How they can influence others to keep fighting to achieve their goals. They break ground for tomorrow through empowerment today. We must increase National Alumni Association membership through strategically targeted recruitment activities. As students, we have abolish what we perceive the alumni association to be and, once again, manifest what we want and need it to be. There are over 20,000 UAPB graduates. Just one connection could be your next internship, fellowship, job, or push you need when the battle gets rough. The past is our bridge to the future. We must bridge the gap between classic AM&N and contemporary UAPB. that stimulated progression and combine them with state of the art classrooms, labs and research opportunities, living facilities, recreational and social activities, and every other area that plays a role in whether a student chooses to become a golden lion or not.
But it starts with making sure we connect with our past. It continues by reaching the next generation of golden lions early by building strong bonds through mentorship. What can we do to influence 5th grader Ashley Jones to be a STEM Scholar, to motivate 8th grade Kaitlin to join the award winning John McClinn Ross Players, and to encourage 12th grade Mike that he is good enough to attend college no matter what disadvantages he has faced. The battles we fight are not about the winning today but about stimulating victory for generations and generations to come.
Yesterday, the blueprint, today, the commitment, tomorrow the execution.
It is no coincidence that we are all here today. We have been called to take on a mighty mission of securing the purest, most God given right, the right to education and the liberty to build a better tomorrow.