BENDINELLI: So that’s all, folks?



Ryan Bendinelli

I learned about the University’s choice of commencement speaker last week. Knowing Villanova’s history of speakers, from Big Bird to the president of the University, I guess I did not have much to expect. No offense to Kenneth Hackett is intended, but I did not get excited when I heard the news. Anyone who dedicates their life to service is OK in my book, but I did not think the choice of speaker set the day apart.

It would have been great to hear an ex-president or another big name who makes daily appearances on TV. However, when I thought about it more, it does not really matter. Commencement speakers are great for offering advice to students about how to go out into the world and take it head on. But, that last word they have to offer will not change our lives or set the course we follow forever.

If the most important detail of my college career was the very last person to say something, then the four years here would really be a waste. Despite everything I have found to complain about, my time here has been something special. I will do my best to never refer to these as the best years of my life. I think it is a bit silly not to approach every day as if it is going to be even better than the one before. There are obviously going to be stressful days – the nights without sleep from work, the sick days and the times where nothing goes right.

Yet, if there is anything important I am taking away from my time here, it is that there is always something new to be learned. Despite the fact that I may sometimes consider myself the smartest person in the world, there have been very few days I have not learned something important. That is something that does not need to change.

As overdone as it is, I could not avoid taking this last column to say thank you. Thank you to The Villanovan for letting me write freely and to everyone who has read this column. The many critical and appreciative e-mails I have received over the year have always been great, if for nothing more than to make me feel better that I am not writing to myself.

Thank you to my professors. I realize that I am not a 4.0 student and have missed a class or two in my day, but I have enjoyed the vast majority of my classes here. Thank you especially to the professors that took the time to hear what my fellow students and I have to say. I do not think I would have learned a thing here if I was not able to talk out the issues.

Thank you to the friends I have made here. You have made these past four years incredible. I will let the complete and utter “awesomeness” of our time here speak for itself. Thanks especially to the friends who have continually baited me into political discussions, only to make everyone complain that all I do is talk about politics.

Thank you to my family. Practically, I could not have done anything without you. More importantly though, making you proud has made the studying, proofreading and memorizing worth every minute. Nothing I could write here would do justice to say how much you mean to me.

Being true to my own form, I leave with a quote from “Forrest Gump”: “That’s all I have to say about that.”


Ryan Bendinelli is a senior political science major from Millington, N.J. He can be reached at [email protected].