Hi everyone, Finn Enke here, and I am the Director of the LGBTQ+ Studies Certificate program, and you are the graduates of the 16th year that we’ve had this program running, and I really could not be more proud of you. I so very much wish that I could be saying this to you in person, but I hope that I can convey in any case some of the meaning that you have given me seeing you go through this program and witnessing the really amazing and profound work that you’ve been doing. And it takes a lot to the LGBTQ+ Studies certificate, and it’s not simply a matter of the number of credits that you’re taking in these areas, but really the commitment, I think, that it takes to issues of social justice, understanding sexuality and gender in different kinds of ways and different contexts, and really thinking about what that might mean in your life.
And I am very aware that this is a poignant moment in time; we don’t know what the future will bring, and your continued commitment to the program and all the things that might be about. I’m just really confident that you’re going to take these things that you’ve been learning and develop them in new directions that we really couldn’t imagine and we couldn’t necessarily, you know, predict that as we’ve been teaching these courses. But I have witnessed you, over the years, make a tremendous amount of meaning out of what you’re doing with these courses. And I have been especially moved to see that you are making your own meaning out of it, not just taking what a professor provides, but really generating your own insights, generating your own meanings, and taking that out into the world and doing incredible things with it.
And so I just, I have learned so much from all of you, and have been so impressed with what you bring to the world. And you are bringing really important things to the world – no matter what you’re doing – just by being who you are and just by being, just bringing yourselves to the world. It’s a really, really profound thing to get to see, and I feel very honored to have just been just a smallest part of it and I want to wish you well, and again huge, huge, huge congratulations on finishing your LGBTQ+ Studies Certificate and your undergraduate degree here at the University of Wisconsin.
Take care, everybody, and please be in touch. Drop me a line whenever you want. I always, always, always, always love hearing from former students. So okay, be well, everyone.