NBC host Savannah Sellers addresses thousands during spring graduation ceremony

Savannah Sellers. Photo courtesy of USA Today

Amidst a flurry of snowballs, students at the University of Colorado Boulder stood in fuzzy pajamas hidden under their graduation gowns, ready to toss their caps in the air and embrace one-another in celebration. CU’s spring 2019 graduation ceremony was about to begin. 

At Folsom Field, 8,600 students braved the cold to receive their degrees on Thursday, May 9.

“Welcome to the blizzard that is your commencement,” said CU alumnus Savannah Sellers, NBC & MSNBC correspondent and “Stay Tuned” NBC Snapchat host, beginning her speech as the commencement speaker.

Sellers went on to share with students her experience and knowledge post-graduation.  Sellers, who said she studied other commencement speeches, said that many had a repetitive common theme about “chasing your dreams no matter what.” She went on to add her “two cents” and give students a more realistic view of what awaits them.

“Chasing your dream is often going to feel like a nightmare,” Sellers said. “If you’re dreaming big enough, chasing your dream is going to be hard.”

Sellers told students that pursuing their dreams will be scary. At times they will question if attaining them is even possible. It may induce “meltdowns” and make them wish they might have chosen something else in their lives.

“Success depends on how well you cope with what’s hard,” Sellers said.

Sellers also gave the advice of finding a corporate side hustle while focusing on your goals. 

“I found ways to chase my dreams … in my spare time,” Sellers said. “If you work at a place where you can see what you want to be, you can spend your time working towards that and create opportunities you didn’t know you had.”

Sellers ended with a note on the importance of finding meaning in one’s work and how it not only affects change in the world and the people in it but will also shift one’s dreams in unimaginable ways.

“You will love your job more and your life more when you get to a place where you are proud of the difference it’s making in the world,” Sellers said.

CU students were left with the exhilaration of having graduated, the wisdom of an accomplished speaker and one unforgettable graduation ceremony. 

“Welcome to the great extended family of the university,” CU Chancellor Philip DiStefano concluded. “Your connection to the university is lifelong. We are continually linked together as you take your place in our society and shape our destiny as one of the world’s greatest universities.”

Contact CU Independent News Staff Writer Valeria Fugate at valeria.fugate@colorado.edu.

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