Read Aron White’s graduation speech here

Aron White speaks at commencement ceremony Friday in Stegeman Coliseum as UGA President Michael Adams watches. (UGA Photo)

Aron White speaks at commencement ceremony Friday in Stegeman Coliseum as UGA President Michael Adams watches. (UGA Photo)

Georgia football player Aron White was the student speaker at UGA’s fall-semester commencement ceremony Friday. The tight end from Columbia, Mo., was chosen for the honor by a committee appointed by the Student Government Association. White graduated with a degree in management. Here is the text of his speech:

I would like to start by saying good morning and welcome to our friends and family that have joined us to commemorate this occasion. But more importantly I would like to say congratulation to all of my fellow graduates.

Some of you might have recognized my name or face and thought to yourself, ‘What is a football player doing giving our commencement speech? Haven’t we given them enough attention? Surely we could have found a more intelligent or eloquent speaker.’ To which I would reply I am sure both of those things could have been accomplished.

I certainly never dreamed when I called coach Mark Richt and told him I wanted to be a Bulldawg that I would be speaking to my graduating class three and a half years after arriving on campus. But I have always valued my education. When I chose to come to the University of Georgia, I did so not only because of the athletic opportunities that I was offered, but also for the strong academic tradition that I would be blessed to be a part of. That is why I consider every day a blessing that I have spent here at this university.

I’m sure we would all agree that college days were the best of our lives thus far. We have met lifelong friends and formed invaluable connections, spent countless hours at the MLC cramming for tests or writing last-minute papers. We have even cursed the parking services when we’ve found a pink envelope tucked neatly underneath our windshield wiper. We have been both shocked and intrigued as we read the headlines of the Red and Black. We have joined fraternities, sororities and other student organizations.

And though my game-day experience was a little different from all of yours, we’ve all spent our Saturdays at Sanford Stadium bleeding red and black. Georgia truly is everything that one could ask for in a university. From athletics to academics to Greek life to night life, we have done it all.

During our college days we have witnessed disasters such as the Haiti earthquake and the BP spill. We have seen innovations and technologies such as Facebook and the iPhone sweep over the nation and captivate our imaginations. We have seen multiple national championships in various sports. We have been the first class to have four different mascots while in attendance at Georgia. We witnessed three UGA students in just three years be named as Rhodes Scholar, two of which came in a single year. We have witnessed the election of the first African American president of the United States. We are working through one of the worst economic downturns in our country’s history, and we are graduating into the most competitive job market since we have been alive. But I say to my graduating class do not fear or be dismayed.

Our college careers have been no different than our predecessors’. We are still a top 20 public university. We have sat and listened to global leaders in our respective fields of study. We have read from the classics. We have even been named the No. 1 party school in America; given our record this year, at least we are No. 1 in something. Time and time again we have stood up to the expectation placed upon us by those that have come before us.

I personally have stood next to some of the greatest athletes to wear the silver britches. I have played against first-round draft picks. I have heard the crowds cheer from the hallowed sod of between the hedges. I have received numerous academic and athletic awards. But I would not tell you that I am worthy to speak at an occasion such as this — not until today. It is not until today that I feel worthy to speak to all of you because today is the day that I will have the honor to cross under the famed Georgia arch.

I know that my mother and father have not felt the pride they feel at this very moment. I know this because all other achievements and accolades in my life have fallen short of everything that a degree from this great university stands for. A degree from Georgia represents our entire college experience. It represents the knowledge we have acquired through our classrooms. It represents the maturity we now possess. It represents the character that we have demonstrated through on and off campus activities. And for a lucky few of us, the honor of representing UGA through intercollegiate athletics.

Sir Thomas Carlyle once said, “What an enormous magnifier is tradition!” I could not be more honored to be a part of the tradition of commencement and have a chance to share with all of you just how big of an accomplishment you have achieved.

In closing, to all those sitting before me who will receive their degrees today, I applaud you. The world is full of limitless possibilities. And though I cannot predict the future as we make our transitions from undergraduates to graduates, I have no doubt that we are prepared for the world. In my opinion the question should be: Is the world prepared for us? Congratulation graduates.

129 comments Add your comment

wolfman

December 17th, 2010
4:41 pm

First to say he should have gone to GT?

Still@theBAR

December 17th, 2010
4:44 pm

Nice job young man.

dawgerbrown

December 17th, 2010
4:46 pm

Congrats Aron and all DAWGS graduating today, and to graduates of all Colleges and Universities across the country. Oh yeah, fffiiiirrsst?

Hit A Single

December 17th, 2010
4:47 pm

What college athletics is and should be all about. Great job and very deserving Aaron.

JE

December 17th, 2010
4:48 pm

Great job to all graduates and great speech..Go Dawgs!!!!

Mr Realist

December 17th, 2010
4:51 pm

Nice work Aron. Good luck in your future.

Please refrain from the sophomoric retorts typically associated with these types of blogs (i.e. non-UGA supporters).

Still@the Bar

December 17th, 2010
4:52 pm

Made me think twice about talking crap about Students that play Football. They really are Kids and Young Men mostly working towards a degree. The average NFL career is 3.6 years. I hope more STUDENT Athletes realize that and take their time in college to have fun and GET READY FOR THE JOB MARKET. Be proud as much as your moms and dads are! Sling that Mortar and Board as HIGH in the AIR as you can.

Still@the Bar

December 17th, 2010
4:56 pm

Just for fun…………
Will UGA offer a D.O.T Engineering Degree? Maybe if UGA had that degree then the football players wouldn’t get arrested on the 1 way streets riding a MOPED with no License.
Really a great Speech.

UGA STUDENT

December 17th, 2010
4:57 pm

I wonder if Brandon Spikes was ever asked to give a commencement address while at UF? I’m sure that fine young man would have given a great speech on the importance of preserving ones eyesight.

sthgaboy

December 17th, 2010
4:57 pm

Great job Aron. Just another reason to be proud to be a Georgia Bulldog!

Yellow Fuzz

December 17th, 2010
4:59 pm

Wish the AH dog nation fans were as classy as their players

Still@the Bar

December 17th, 2010
4:59 pm

UGA STUDENT
Do you think Ben Joens will get to make a speech next year? He is as bad/dirty and B. Spikes

Still@the Bar

December 17th, 2010
5:00 pm

Ben JONES sorry.

Still@the Bar

December 17th, 2010
5:02 pm

sthgaboy
Read the TECH blog about Sean Bedford if you want to know what a FULLTIME player and STUDENT really is. Taking nothing away from Aron, but what SEAN accomplished is so freaking tough it is hard to imagine.

Still@the Bar

December 17th, 2010
5:04 pm

Just to HELP
SANFORD DRIVE
42-43………………………………………………………….
You are getting slow or are you already drunk in the trailer park?

Still@the Bar

December 17th, 2010
5:05 pm

Damn I must be drinking too! Sorry.
42-34

Henry Arthur Callis

December 17th, 2010
5:09 pm

Congrats Aron and all the other UGA graduates. I’m proud of you. You are a fine representation of student-athlete. Aron, you have represented your family, your fraternity, your team, and your University to the highest level. I wish you all the best. May you continue to move onward and upward and always serve as an example to others. Now go back out on the field next season and GATA!!! (And keep all scooter helmets away from Big Tree)

Still@the Bar

December 17th, 2010
5:10 pm

I forgot to add. You DAWGS realize that ARON is not a product of the (UGA ED.GRADUATES) Georiga Public School System.

Still@the Bar

December 17th, 2010
5:13 pm

Aron is living nder the Uga star. UGA now has Uga VIII and Aron had 8 TDs. Best of luck young man.

Rickie

December 17th, 2010
5:16 pm

Great speech,

athens proud

December 17th, 2010
5:21 pm

Still@thebar…remember a running back Georgia had during CMR’s successful years named Tony Milton? This kid lived in a drainage culvert with no family, ended up playing ball after being ‘found’ by coaches and taken in…finished school at UGA. Let’s agree that kids like Milton, Sean Bedord, Aron White all overcome obstacles, some more than others. Let’s also agree that they are, after all, kids playing a game they love while the rest of us foam at the mouth if we don’t win a championship after all, and in some cases, curse the players who are in fact, kids.
Congrats to ‘em all, regardless of where they went to school. And while I’m at it, 9 out of 10 :)
Go Dawgs

Goldtimer

December 17th, 2010
5:23 pm

Glad he worked in that UGA is the #1 party school, I’m sure his parents are proud of that fact :rolleyes:

1970 Dawg

December 17th, 2010
5:25 pm

Good job Aron. I’m proud of the way you have represented our school. First class player and individual.

The Purple Penguin

December 17th, 2010
5:27 pm

Worm

December 17th, 2010
5:31 pm

Congrats to all the grads at UGA and TECH.

McDawg

December 17th, 2010
5:34 pm

hope he is around next year

Phil Steele just listed Murray 1st team All Freshmen not a surprise

Kevin

December 17th, 2010
5:41 pm

Goldtimer, I’ve got news for you… THIS IS ABOUT THE STUDENT NOT HIS PARENTS. Since when is having fun a crime? Pretty sure Aron and the rest of us will live much more fulfilling lives than your old a$$

Dannyboy

December 17th, 2010
5:47 pm

From a GT grad and fan:

Outstanding job Aron White.

Congratulation to BOTH GT and UGA grads…whether they are athletes or not.

But a special “Thank-you” to the athletes who have worked hard on and off the field to entertain fans and alumni.

To UGA AND GT fans: At the end of the day it’s just a game. For the players, it’s their lives. The young men and women play for our schools because they choose to, not because they have to. Don’t forget that when you choose to criticize them.

Sanford Drive

December 17th, 2010
5:52 pm

My View

December 17th, 2010
5:58 pm

How did Aaron White know what I was thinking when I saw him listed as the speaker???? lol……and a very good job!!!!!!!!!!

BIRDDAWGONE

December 17th, 2010
6:13 pm

Goldtimer, kinda like when you parents roll there eyes when you promise to move out of the basement oneday, or when they see you play WAR CRAFT or when you try to through a ball, right..

col fot

December 17th, 2010
6:14 pm

Great job young man.

VinnyD

December 17th, 2010
6:21 pm

Love seeing some props to athletes who are also STUDENTS. Many college athletes don’t deserve academic achievements they may receive but you have to love those who shine on AND off the field. I don’t care what rival school an athlete is from, if he really stood out as a student (ala Myron Rolle) he deserves our applause. Myron Rolle should be the role model that inspires us and our children. Not an FSU fan but the work that guy put in day in and day out is amazing.

VinnyD

December 17th, 2010
6:25 pm

Veritas

December 17th, 2010
6:26 pm

Aaron White. Veritas…”The Search for Truth”. You’ve found it my friend a fellow alumnus from the Terry College of Business (MBA). You represent us well…on and off the field.

Thank you sir!

blazerdawg

December 17th, 2010
6:38 pm

excellent point Dannyboy

PHIL

December 17th, 2010
6:58 pm

Congratulations Aron and thank you for representing our school the way it needs to be represented. Hopefully this will put some perspective into people who believe coaches and athletes are or should be infallible robots playing the game only to pump up some beer guzzling fans pride and ego. naaaaaah. Never happen here.

Dawg '94

December 17th, 2010
7:06 pm

Congrats to all the UGA grads!

cwm

December 17th, 2010
7:07 pm

GREAT JOB 81

dawgschiro

December 17th, 2010
7:07 pm

Congratulations to Aron & all the UGA graduates!

We are so proud of you & your accomplishments!

Go Dawgs!

buzzDawg

December 17th, 2010
7:19 pm

It is refreshing to read positive stories about our football players. Kudos, Aron! I know there is much more in the way of positive things going on with UGA but it is the nature of the beast that only the bad things usually end up in the media.

Samuel L. Jackson

December 17th, 2010
7:19 pm

The bottom line is that most UGA fans have very good jobs and productive lives that don’t depend on UGA’s football record for their happiness in life. It is great to beat Tech every year, but when you put scholar-athletes up against nerds, it’s usually no contest.
It’s pretty pathetic to see Tech fans who typically have never been within miles of a college classroom and who live or die with Tech’s weekly results on the football field.

UGA07

December 17th, 2010
7:33 pm

BG

December 17th, 2010
7:46 pm

Awesome job Aron!!

layinlow

December 17th, 2010
7:47 pm

PHIL, the big UGA insider, what happened to the part of White’s speech that YOU claimed he would make about football blog critics? Please indulge us Mr. UGA.

“It seems the only student speaker at the commencement exercise is going to be a football player. He is so concerned about what you and the other morons continue to write about the football program that he has taken it upon himself to try to speak to the problem in his speech”.

Beast from the East

December 17th, 2010
8:03 pm

I was driving through Downtown Athens around lunch-time today and saw dozens of grads and their families out on the street taking pictures and celebrating. Congrats to all of this weekend’s graduates all over the country.
Now it’s time to “punch the clock” and start making your own way in life.
Best of luck to you all!

hind tit

December 17th, 2010
8:03 pm

God bless you on your journey Aron.

Atlanta Dawg

December 17th, 2010
8:06 pm

I say congrats to Aron for a good speech and to all the GT and UGA fans on here who posted something positive about a positive story. There some folks who love the anonymity of the internet and can’t help but be negative, but the vast majority of folks take pride in our teams and even more pride in each of our student athletes that together make our country a strong and free nation.

Sleeper Service

December 17th, 2010
8:08 pm

How ignorant are some tech fans? They keep bragging about rovers and other assorted space robots but fail to realize that UGA is at the same time researching cures for infectious diseases. Right here on good old Terra. Congrats to all UGA and Tech grads!

LOL...

December 17th, 2010
8:16 pm

Now we are posting speeches on here… LOL… My God !!