Shades of Gray
Not everything was orange, black and white on Ohio Northern University's 2009 Commencement Day. Meghan Davlin, graduating pharmacy major from Sandusky, Ohio, would argue that, happily, there were shades of gray. Davlin was given the honor of presenting the student remarks at Ohio Northern's 138th undergraduate commencement.
Her speech, entitled "Shades of Gray," highlights how her perspective on life has changed as a result of her time spent as an active student. "A motivated new college freshman, I came with my color coordinated bedding and towels," she confesses, "and I was eager to learn more about my black and white world." Through her studies and experiences, however, she now speaks of a greater complexity. There is not always one black-and-white answer, she now says, but she embraces this ambiguity. "In some cases the correct answer is yet to be determined, and that is the exciting challenge that lies in front of us. The world is ours to research, ours to question, and ours to protect."
During her time at ONU, Davlin immersed herself in all that the campus had to offer. After all, what drew her to Ada, Ohio, in the first place was the challenge and community it promised. Engaging in research with faculty and rigorous study, she also served as Student Senate president, pledged Kappa Alpha Theta, and earned a theatre minor. "The Raabe College of Pharmacy is one of the best schools of pharmacy in the nation," she says proudly. "Additionally, I had a passion for music and theatre. ONU encouraged me to participate in these programs to ensure that I had a well-rounded, liberal arts educational experience."
Following graduation, Davlin will put her education to work during a two-year pharmacy residency at The John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., where she will also earn an MBA in medical services management. While this was not always her ambition, she acknowledges the change in direction as part of her personal growth in a "world of gray."
In her parting words to her classmates, Davlin was not at all discouraged by the uncertainty into which they are entering. Instead, she feels excellently prepared by her time as a Polar Bear. "In fact, the greatest gift of higher education is learning to explore the world of gray."
Senior creative writing major
North Royalton, Ohio