Kyle Bruntz Student Speaker
Welcome Class of 2012. My name is Kyle Bruntz and I am from Vail, Colorado. I am a management major, with intentions to go into Hotel Management, a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, the concert chair for our Campus Activities Board, the Assistant Director of our St. Jude's club on campus, and I'm involved in many other clubs and organizations. But most importantly, I am this years Orientation Coordinator. Throughout last semester and my summer here at the college, I have been anxiously anticipating this exact moment in time. This is when I get to stand up here, present my speech to all of you and your families, and hopefully inspire you all to do great work at Gettysburg College over your next four years.
Looking back, three short years ago, I was right in your position. I was anxious about meeting new people, starting college classes, and nervous about starting my new life away from home. When I rolled up to Hanson Hall on opening day, I was attacked by hundreds of move-in volunteers, waiting for me, and my class, to arrive on campus to begin Orientation. As I was sitting at my Opening Convocation, Jeremy Meehan, the Orientation Coordinator at the time, was presenting his speech and I remember thinking to myself, I want to be him, a student who is in charge of creating a great experience for my first-year class. Now, the road to get to my position was not an easy one. It has taken me three years of keeping this "dream" in my sight and doing everything possible to get it. I had to be conscientious about my responsibilities I have in the classroom, since I am here to get a college education, and had to be committed to the many opportunities outside of the classroom.
One of these opportunities that helped me gain the necessary knowledge to be in my position was through our St. Jude's club on campus. I was approached by a junior at the end of my first-year who told me that there was a group of student leaders who were trying to start St. Jude Children's Research Hospitals collegiate program Up ‘til Dawn on our campus. At first, I was confused why I was invited, I mean I was only a first-year student and had only really been involved in the Student Senate. I agreed to help this group and we began planning. Once we legitimized ourselves on campus, we began recruiting teams of people to write letters of support to alumni, parents, faculty, and administration, asking for donations on behalf of Gettysburg College. As this being our first-year, we did not have high hopes and were amazed when we found out five months later that we had raised well over $125,000 for St. Jude Children's Research hospital in the name of Gettysburg College.
The next year, I was asked by my peers to be the Executive Director of the club, which now had lofty goals we needed to achieve. When I accepted the invitation, I was skeptical. I had never led a group of people, and had always been second in command. Over the past year, as I served as Executive Director, I learned many things about the fundraising processes, but most importantly I learned things about myself that I would have never found out if I was not in this position. I first learned how to present myself in front of a group of peers. Because of the weekly meetings that we had, to plan for the two major events, I found out that I needed to learn how to show only positive emotions, even if it was not the best idea thrown out. I also learned how to present myself in front of administrators and faculty at the college. Because our club does high profile events at the college, we work very closely with many different administrators and faculty across campus and I needed to learn how to act professional in front these people. This took time, but because the college has such a supportive staff, they hung in there with me. One last quality I learned about myself is that I am determined. When I want something, I am going to do whatever it takes to get it. I wanted this program to succeed and over the first two years of being an established club on campus, we have raised well over $186,000 for this amazing cause.
So class of 2012. You will learn so much in the classroom, but it is those experiences of being a member of the campus activities board, or being the president of the student senate that will help you to succeed once you leave Gettysburg. As you will all see throughout your short four years here, the faculty, fellow students, and administration really want you to have the best experience of your life, so use them. Use them as a tool to help you achieve, or surpass, your many personal or group goals and to grow as a citizen of not only Gettysburg College, but of the world.
In order to do this, I ask that you be open minded, step out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself and others, because in less than four years, you want to look back and say that you have done everything possible to make your experience here at Gettysburg College life changing and meaningful.