Fall 2016| Posse National Newsletter


450 Scholars Graduate from Posse Partner Colleges

Wheaton College graduate Nataja Flood.

Babson College graduate Shatiek Jamal Gatlin.

Lawrence University graduate Kevin Marin and his father, Emel.

This spring, at top colleges and universities across the country, 450 Posse Scholars from eight cities completed their bachelor’s degrees. As these new college graduates begin their professional journeys, they have the support of an impressive network of more than 3,600 Posse alumni.

The 2016 graduating class includes campus leaders, honors students and fellowship winners. Jack Eubanks earned his degree from Vassar College and is the first graduate of the Posse Veterans Program. Four Scholars were chosen to deliver the student address during commencement ceremonies: Shatiek Gatlin at Babson College, Joel Burt-Miller at Brandeis University, Kevin Marin at Lawrence University, and Nataja Flood at Wheaton College.

Posse President and Founder Deborah Bial delivered the commencement addresses at Pomona College and Centre College. In preparation, she interviewed more than 50 8 to 10-year-olds in New York City about how they want the world to look in the future, their dreams and fears, and their expectations for adults today. She challenged the graduates to become protectors of the world as they forge ahead into adulthood, to remember the dreams of 9-year-olds, and to remain connected to their idealism.

An excerpt from Deborah Bial’s Pomona College commencement address:

Earlier this month, I talked to 53 8- and 9- and 10-year-olds. I wanted to find out what was on their minds and ask them what they would like to see in the world by the time they are graduating from college. I asked them about their dreams for the future. They want cool technology. They want the future to be peaceful, caring and happy. They want the whole world to have hope and faith.

Do we remember ourselves at this age? We were all there, weren’t we? We had imagination. Maybe this was when we were at our most honest, our most trusting.

In 2015, millennials became the largest and most diverse generation in the workforce. Researchers say you are idealists. And while some criticize this aspect of your age group, I say keep your idealism. In fact, do everything you possibly can to protect it.

Today, you are graduating and this rite of passage is one more declaration of your adulthood. You are now the adults to whom the responsibility of protecting the world is given.

Don’t forget the 9-year-old in yourself and all the 9-year-olds that are looking to you to pave the way. Stay close to their dreams and let them remind you of yours. You can do extraordinary things in your life and for the world. They need you. We all do.

View other stories in the Posse National Quarterly