Commencement speaker reminds VU Law School graduates: ‘It can be done’
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent May 25, 2013 3:46PM
Smiling degree candidates of the Valparaiso University School of Law enter the Chapel of the Resurrection on campus Saturday morning, May 25, 2013, for commencement exercises. | Michael Gard~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 27, 2013 7:13AM
VALPARAISO — Late President Ronald Reagan’s motto, “It can be done,” is Allen Fore’s motto, too.
Fore, the commencement speaker for the Valparaiso University Law School and a 1991 graduate, told graduates the motto is on his desk.
Calling Reagan a personal hero, Fore, director of public affairs for Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P., used the phrase as a framework for his speech to the more than 140 law school graduates and their friends and family, who filled the Chapel of the Resurrection on the VU campus Saturday.
“Those are four simple words that, when put together, have significant meaning,” he said.
The graduates faced a host of challenges during their three years of law school, from academic competition and demands to the pressures of work and family, “but you made it. You showed it can be done,” he said.
The tough love of law school prepared the graduates for their post-law school experience, where they face challenges and opportunities.
“It’s tough, but we’ve been through much worse,” he said.
While there is a global financial crisis, the country survived the Great Depression, and from the Civil War to the terrorist attack during the Boston Marathon, “we survived.”
The graduates will face personal adversity, too, including health concerns and job loss that are out of their control. Fore said he faced such challenges himself, including losing jobs and elections, but what matters is how graduates deal with those losses.
“You pick yourself up, regroup and learn from your experiences,” he said.
He encouraged the graduates to engage in their communities, and recognized the veterans in the audience this Memorial Day weekend. He also encouraged graduates to take part in the political experience, working on campaigns and even running for office.
“As long as you are dedicated, honest and passionate, we need you in public service,” he said.
The graduates, for their part, were ready for new challenges. Laura Wyrick, who graduated from Chesterton High School and lives in Valparaiso, has a job in Fort Wayne. She got her undergraduate degree at Indiana University-Bloomington but came back here for her law degree.
“We always knew the law school as being prestigious in the region, so it made sense to come back,” she said.