“All of you have a unique story and an important voice,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. “Embrace your voice, enjoy it and develop it.”
Representing the class of 2013 was Sara Wong, a Brooklyn resident who received a fellowship to pursue her PhD in biology at the University of Michigan.
The valedictorian drew on her experiences on the college's track and field team to say that graduating was like crossing the finish line “exhausted but accomplished.”
“I learned a few things during my time at Queens College,” Wong said. “Most importantly to appreciate the people that help us finished.”
Graduate Madeling Yap, 21, will spend a year teaching English in Korea thanks to a Fulbright grant.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime,” said the Jackson Heights resident. “It will certainly help me learn about how to teach in a real school setting and shape my career as a language teacher.”
Councilman James Gennaro quoted Walt Whitman during his remarks, but left graduates with words from a less historical figure. “In the words of Buzz Lightyear,” he said, “to infinity and beyond.”