The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

What would have been my commencement speech.

I was sitting in the Centrum earlier this semester with my dear friends, the Monday/Wednesday/Friday lunch bunch. We were talking about our first days at CLU. Between the five of us, we have five different stories. Two traditional freshmen – one from out of state and the other from just around the corner in Moorpark. Three transfers – one from a four-year university, one from two different four-year universities, and one from Moorpark College. Yet, here we sat, together in our senior year, reveling in our experience at CLU. It is our different paths yet common goals that make us the CLU family.

I spent this year as Presidential Host Coordinator, so I spent a lot of time in the Office of Undergraduate Admission welcoming students to consider CLU their home. We give tours, basically as an excuse to talk to a student for an hour under the guise that we’re showing them around campus. It is our goal to help them understand who we are, who they are, and how CLU can unite us. On a tour, as we approach the Enormous Luther, our beloved Gumby, I explain why he’s here. He represents the enormous impact that Martin Luther had on the church. I extrapolate this to the enormous impact that we as CLU students will have on this world.

Here at CLU we have been given the unforgettable opportunity to grow in our understandings of faith and of reason, through organizations like Lord of Life, People of Prayer, Secular Student Alliance, and classes like Faith and Reason with professors like Dr. Streeter and Dr. Bersley. We have found ourselves dedicated to service of others through our time with Stine Odegard in the Community Service Center. This year, we as a campus committed to 50 service projects in honor of our 50th anniversary. We built houses with Habitat for Humanity. We stayed overnight at homeless shelters and the Prototypes women’s shelter. We beautified our campus with native plants to save our precious resources; we dug a new community garden. We have been committed to justice for all – through the Center for Equality and Justice, the Gay/Straight Alliance, Feminism Is…, College Democrats and College Republicans, the Not For Sale movement, anti-war protests, and a benefit concert for Haiti. We are, through all of these things, confident in our identity and vocation. We have cultivated the abilities and the strength to go out into this world to eloquently express our ideas and dreams.

We know who we are and who we will become. A fellow member of my senior class once said, “I came to college to figure out what I wanted to do. I am graduating knowing who I want to be.”

We are a senior class of amazing diversity of knowledge, experience, and things to offer this world. We will leave this place and journey all over the globe. Some of us will be lucky enough to return to CLU for graduate school, or sometime in the future as faculty or staff. It is our joy to call CLU our home now and forever.

As we sat in the Centrum and looked back just a few years, this University was looking back 50. Now that’s time for change. We can hardly imagine life without Gilbert, Humanities, Samuelson Chapel, and the countless other buildings that we now enter every day. As our alums and friends come back to CLU, there is always something new. Things are happening here at CLU. We have been educated as leaders for a global society, and we are working to make choices and changes here that reflect that. We have studied abroad and returned with knowledge and memories and revolutionary ideas about how CLU can grow.

It is up to us, now, as alumni, to put that into action. We have done what we could as students to make life at CLU fantastic. It is now our responsibility to go out and be who CLU has made us to be, and also to encourage future students to make CLU their home. This should not be difficult. What is difficult is knowing that we will not return to CLU this fall. We will not move into these residence halls we have come to love. We will not walk down the academic corridor to another class. We will not scan the posters at the flagpole for the latest goings-on. We will be out there in the world, fulfilling our promise.

I'm ready now.