EKU Commencement Speaker Defies the Odds

Published on December 05, 2022

By Sarah Bashford

Now EKU Graduate, Holdyn Morrow, dropped out of high school with a 1.2 GPA. Told by her high school’s administration that she should never consider pursuing a college degree, Morrow found opportunity and success at Eastern Kentucky University. 

“I was never exactly pushed by my rural school system to ever be anything more than the bare minimum. I was actually told by my high school’s administration that I shouldn’t even really consider pursuing college, as I needed to find something that would better ‘suit my intellect,’” Morrow said. 

“I can understand how this conversation with my high school may have seemed like a setback, but I took this experience as an opportunity and decided to focus on my goal of attending my dream school: Eastern Kentucky University.”

Morrow shared her story of conquering trials and tribulations at EKU’s 2022 fall commencement ceremony for the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences; the College of Business; and the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics on Saturday, Dec. 3. Morrow graduated with a bachelor of science degree in psychology. 

“EKU provided a space for me where I have been able to grow and develop as a person without having to live my life in fear of failure,” she continued. “The professionals here have helped me embrace failure when it comes and strive to create opportunities in the face of adversity.”

After talking about some of the resources that were instrumental in helping Morrow succeed in getting her degree, she addressed her peers. 

“To my fellow graduates, I am so pleased that we have all come this far. And I do mean every single one of us,” Morrow said. “Regardless of how you may see yourself currently, you have made it this far and that is something worth celebrating. Remember, you are the change that you need to be successful, and you have the strength to overcome any obstacle that stands in your way of greatness.” 

EKU recognized more than 1,200 degree candidates from its six academic colleges during its fall commencement ceremonies. 

View the ceremony in its entirety on Youtube: EKU Fall 2022 Commencement-Morning Ceremony.