EKU Gives Commencement Speaker Taste of ‘The Good Life’

Published on May 17, 2022

During her first-ever class at Eastern Kentucky University, Lindsay Volpenhein’s professor asked the class to contemplate the question, “What is the good life?” As she reflected on her collegiate experience, she has not determined the exact answer to this question, but decided that her time at EKU has indeed been good. 

“Four years of classes and collegiate experiences have spun the gamut of bad, sad, happy and good – mostly happy and good – but I know that each of these experiences have led to the cultivation of my own gratitude, persistence and curiosity,” she said. “While I am not sure exactly what encompasses the good life, I feel certain that gratitude, persistence and curiosity have played an important role in making my last four years so good.” 

Volpenhein shared her experiences with graduates attending EKU’s 2022 Spring Commencement Ceremonies for the College of Business, the College of Education and Applied Human Sciences, and the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences on Friday, May 13. The Honors Program graduate earned degrees in English and communication studies. 

Gratitude for Volpenhein came through being able to enjoy campus activities and organizations while receiving a quality education. 

“We must acknowledge this gratitude and use it to make meaningful contributions to our society all while noting that this gratitude feels good,” she said. 

She described persistence as being vulnerable enough to admit that college is difficult but then fighting through.

“Let us remember that the hard moments along the way can create in us a spirit of persistence that will make times like these so much sweeter,” Volpenhein said. “Graduating is good because of the persistence it took to get us here. And this persistence feels good.”

Being asked the question, “What is the good life?” inspired a curiosity in Volpenhein that never sated. And while she doesn’t think she will ever have the definitive answer, she said she knows that EKU has played an important part in answering the question. 

“The good life is unfolding before me and the good life is that which we are all chasing, and it is because of you, EKU, and the gratitude, persistence and curiosity that you have fostered in me, that I am sure I am on a correct path to finding it.” 

EKU recognized 2,292 degree candidates from its six academic colleges during its spring commencement ceremonies. 

View the ceremony in its entirety via YouTube: EKU Spring 2022 Commencement-Morning Ceremony