Commencement Speaker Found Her Passion at EKU

Published on May 25, 2023

By Sarah Bashford

When Haley Snell first stepped onto the Campus Beautiful, the landscape reeled her into attending Eastern Kentucky University. Now an EKU graduate, Snell looked back on her time at the university and the changes she went through as an undergraduate. 

“When I got here, I was a scared, timid freshman. I was overwhelmed and anxious with all the changes I was experiencing. However, I made the decision to face change with grace. To change with grace is to remain poised in the face of adversity and difficulty,” said Snell, from Winchester, Kentucky.

Snell shared her story of finding her passion for teaching during EKU’s spring commencement ceremony for the College of Justice, Safety, and Military Science and the College of Applied Human Sciences on Friday, May 12. 

“As I progressed through my degree, I developed a passion for teaching. My education courses were filled with hands-on activities and projects,” said Snell. “I was analyzing children's literature, playing with math manipulatives and conducting science experiments. EKU has provided me with numerous field experiences to prepare me for my future career, and I’m sure many other graduates can relate.”

Snell showed appreciation for the education she received and the support from advisors and professors while at EKU. As she addressed her peers, she reflected on her own life-changing experience and encouraged others to embrace change. 

“Now, as a graduating senior, I can confidently say that attending Eastern Kentucky University has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. Class of 2023, all of us have changed since we first arrived at EKU,” said Snell. “I want you to embrace that change. As you transition from college to career, be intentional in the changes and choices that you make. Now is the perfect time to take chances and turn your passion into a career. Even if you're a little nervous, even if you don’t know what comes next, EKU has prepared you to face your change with grace.” 

Snell graduated with a bachelor of science in elementary education teaching. 

EKU recognized over 2,000 graduate candidates from its six academic colleges during its spring commencement ceremonies. 

View the ceremony in its entirety: EKU’s Spring 2023 6 p.m. Commencement Ceremony