2010 SNHU Student Speaker Doreen Boutin's Speech

Saturday, May 15, 2010
SNHU Communications Office

Student Speaker
Doreen Boutin, Online and Continuing Education Student:

Good Afternoon fellow graduates, faculty, parents and special guests.

My name is Doreen Boutin and I was asked to speak to you as a representative of all SNHU graduates. To all of my fellow students, whether from the main campus, our satellite sites, or like me, from online – I say congratulations!

None of us arrived here today without support from others. 

I am the mother of a son, Kory, who is here today. Your patience and support has meant so much to me. Thank you, Kory.

Secondly, I have lupus; a chronic autoimmune disease that at times leads to challenges. Twenty years ago, I was in a 36-hour coma and on life support. The prognosis from the doctor was
that I would be brain dead, paralyzed or both. He made the recommendation to my mother to pull the plug. My mother refused. As a result of her faith in me, I am standing here today, speaking to all of you. Thank you so much, Mom, for speaking up for me when I could not.

We should all take a moment to thank those who have been there for us and who helped make today a reality.

Those fateful 36 hours, when everything might have been taken away from me, make me fight even harder for the things I want, such as the Bachelors in Psychology degree I just earned at Southern New Hampshire University.

When I started at Southern New Hampshire University, I truly was not sure what to expect.  I have a family, work full-time, and serve my community.

Because SNHU understands the needs of students of all ages and situations, it allowed me to maintain an important balance between my family, work, school, and a social life. I cannot say enough about what this has meant to me.

Because my classes were online I had the opportunity to work with other students from around this wonderful world of ours.

While taking a distance education course, a student might have a professor in Washington DC, while classmates may be in Texas, California, Dubai or soldiers serving in Iraq.
I not only learned the subject matter before me, but had the opportunity to learn from a variety of people as well as a variety of cultures through discussions with my classmates.

I hope my teachers won’t mind me saying this, but where else can you go to school at three am in your pajamas, fighting insomnia, and notice that your professor also just made a late night post to the discussion board.

Many have heard the quote by Francis Bacon, “Knowledge is Power”.

My SNHU education provided me with knowledge through excellent courses and instructors.
It also empowered me in a variety of ways.

The power to move forward in my career,

The power to move past the fears I have about the future,

And the power to realize no matter what obstacle might come before me, I can move through it and learn the lesson it needs to teach me.

I will always be grateful to my professors, academic advisors, disability office and the countless students and friends I have met since my start at Southern New Hampshire University.

I do believe Francis Bacon was correct; “Knowledge is Power”.

Thank you Southern New Hampshire University-
 Congratulations, graduates of 2010.

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