Michaela Morrison ’21 has been chosen as Denison University’s Class of 2020 student commencement speaker. Morrison is a double major in global commerce and Spanish, and a committed leader of the Denison women’s swimming and diving team. Her speech is titled “Challenge is a call to action, and obstacles create opportunity.”
“I am aiming to relay an inspiring message about how the collection of our individual leadership skills can be applied even in the worst of situations,” says Morrison. “I want students to reflect on the many experiences they have gained over their undergraduate career, and to remember that they have already overcome so many obstacles that at one point seemed impassable.”
As this is a unique moment in history under the coronavirus pandemic, Morrison will deliver her speech twice, a short version during a virtual Conferral of Degrees on Saturday, May 16, and the original version at an in-person Commencement Service to be held on campus at an as yet undesignated date and time.
“Denison understands the importance of allowing students to shape their environments,” Morrison adds. “We are encouraged to develop our ideas in a way that is mutually beneficial for the communities we are a part of.”
In addition to her excellence in the classroom and the pool, Morrison was chosen as a Distinguished Leader for her contributions to the Denison community. She is a member of the DU Lead program for leadership, a club advisor, and an orientation leader for Denison’s August Orientation sessions.
The citation for her Distinguished Leadership Award noted of Morrison, “Your leadership on campus has been anchored by your curiosity about all things and all people, by your positive and encouraging attitude, and your genuineness and humility. They say that your presence, optimism, and loyal support of others make you a model they seek to emulate in their daily lives.”