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María Luisa Arroyo's poem

Your Pine Manor College Journey

By María Luisa Arroyo, MFA ’15

Today marks the end of your journey as undergraduates
 at Pine Manor College, a tiny but mighty college
 nestled in the woods where over 100 years ago,
 the quietly revolutionary dreams of young women
 who desired an education were fulfilled here.

Class of 2017, today, you carry on their legacy, their revolution:
 to hold that hard-earned degree in your hand, to walk
 off this beautiful campus into a new journey, determined
 to make a difference – one person at a time,
 Today you are a testament to your Pine Manor College
 professors and staff members, who educated you,
 supported you, cheered for you. One student at a time.

Today marks the celebration of your blossoming minds,
 illuminated by the power of your Pine Manor College education.

Today marks the power of studying, living at or commuting to
 one of the most diverse colleges in the United States!
 Eight years in a row!

Today marks a culmination of your countless hours
 in Annenberg, your late-night snacks talks in the Pit,
 your study groups in the res dining halls, your fitness classes
 in the meditation room, your commutes to internships,
 your workouts or runs with your sports teams, Go Gators!

You experienced all this in a community that remembers your name,
 that cares about your first-generation experiences,
 that understands the value of your first, second and third languages,
 that takes the time to know you. One student at a time.

As we bask in the joy of your graduation today,
 let’s celebrate the end of your college journey
 and your transition into work and community spaces
 where your degree will make a difference
 the Pine Manor College way. One student at a time.

Poet María Luisa Arroyo is a 2015 graduate of Pine Manor College Solstice MFA in poetry, a 2014-2016 Poet Laureate Emerita, Springfield, MA, and a 2016 NEPR Arts Humanities Recipient

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