Video: Co-Valedictorian’s Advice at Commencement

In May 2019, Benjamin Tse graduated from Nyack College as the school’s co-valedictorian.  The following is an excerpt from his speech about God’s faithfulness and small beginnings.  Congratulations to all our graduates!

From Benjamin Tse, Nyack College’s 2019 co-valedictorian:

Today’s a big day. It’s a day of celebration and farewells. We have looked forward to this day for a long time. Later today in a couple of hours, thousands of people will gather together to celebrate this milestone of life, but this big, huge and enormous event is really the result of little events, a lot of little events.  Throughout my four years at Nyack, I’ve learned not to overlook the seemingly small things in life, but to embrace them and be faithful to them.

When I was looking at colleges, people were urging me to go for the bigger schools with fancier names and greater reputations than Nyack. Some parent— not my parents— but some parents, friends and church friends were pressuring me to aim bigger and not waste my time in a tiny school. A personal mentor of mine who I’ve known from young was willing to loan out cash for me to apply for one of the Ivy Leagues.

I come from a culture that takes pride in building a name for yourself and for your family. It’s really about achieving bigger and bringing more honor to your family. And thankfully my parents fully supported my decision to go to Nyack. They did not conform to the social norms and they never pressured me to get all A’s and it was mostly self-driven. My mom tells me to surrender my will to God’s will to simply obey his commands and not to despise small beginnings. Mom and Dad, thank you for supporting me.