Page 4 - William Woods University - Summer 2013

SUMMER | 2013
I've tried to
be authentic. I've
been uncomfortable.
Growth comes from
these moments
of discomfort.
Commencement speaker urges graduates to give back’
By Mary Ann Beahon
This place does change your life. This place allows your world
to open, and allows you to start building relationships and have
experiences you’ll have for the rest of your life. This school
gave me more than I realized at the time.”
Those were the words of
Kathleen Kunkler
, 1982
and newly appointed member of the William Woods University
Board of Trustees as she addressed the graduates and their
families May 11 at the undergraduate commencement ceremony.
Graduate students heard from
Julie Dill
the first person
to complete her doctoral dissertation at William Woods
University. Dill has dedicated 23 years to her career in
education and currently serves as superintendent of schools at
Johnson County R-VII School District in Centerview, Mo. She
has served as an adjunct faculty member for William Woods
University for the past six years, teaching classes at the
master’s, education specialist, and doctoral level.
A total of 340 students received diplomas. With another
ceremony held in December, the combined number of WWU
graduates since May 2012 is 882.
Kunkler, who came to William Woods as a student-athlete
from western Kansas, majored in English, but is now vice
president and financial adviser for Morgan Stanley Smith
Barney in Kansas City, Mo.
Looking back,” she said, “I was always impressed and
surprised about how they cared about me as a student, even
though I was a bit ‘outside the lines’.” She mentioned, in
particular, the kindness and caring of
Dr. Daniel Gorjanc
Dr. Florence Krause,
Coach Roger Ternes
After sharing stories about each one, she told the graduates, “I
want you to leave this place knowing what a special place this is,
and the moments you’ve had. Think of those moments. Remember
them, and when you have the chance to give those moments back,
do so.”
Kunkler went on to tell the audience some “pretty simple”
concepts she learned on her own:
Build relationships that matter.
Be authentic.
Be uncomfortable every now and then.
I love my job. It has been hard, but that is what jobs are
about. They are supposed to be hard, but you should also like,
or fortunately for me, love what I do. I have built relationships.
I have experienced teaching moments. I’ve tried to be authentic.
I’ve been uncomfortable. Growth comes from these moments
of discomfort.”
She told of going to Haiti in 2010, six months after the
earthquake there.
It still is one of the best things I’ve had the
opportunity to do in my life. It really did change
me,” she said, encouraging each
graduate to do something similar.
Every one of you, if given the opportunity,
go to a Third-World country and volunteer. Go
to your own city, and give back. Be a Big Sister,
Big Brother, walk an old person’s dog.
Volunteer. It will pay you back tenfold.”
Kathleen Kunkler
Photo by Kristina Bright
Julie Dill