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Josh Goldman '10 to serve as student speaker at Commencement

  • Representing the 'Tribe'
    Representing the 'Tribe'  Government major and recent graduate Josh Goldman '10, this year's student Commencement Speaker, will be talking during this year's ceremonies on the importance of being a part of the W&M Tribe.  Photo by Erin Zagursky
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“Tribe” is a word that is everywhere at William & Mary. From the halls of Kaplan Arena to the words of orientation aides, the William & Mary community revolves around the concept of “Tribe.” But what does it mean to be a graduating senior and part of the “Tribe?”

Josh Goldman ’10, the student Commencement speaker for the May 16 ceremony, will attempt to tackle that question when he takes the stage alongside honorary Commencement speaker Christina Romer ’81.

“When I saw the announcement to apply to be the speaker, I thought that I might want to do it and I knew I would regret it if I didn't try,” he said. “I always thought it would be a wonderful way to finish my time at the College to try to relay how everyone at this school comes together to make one Tribe.”

Goldman, who will receive a B.A. in Government, plans to pursue a career in screenwriting, editing, and independent filmmaking in Washington D.C. after graduation. He said that many experiences throughout his four years at the College showed him just how powerful the meaning of a “Tribe” was to him, not simply as a community, but a way of life.

“Overall, I think that students get that strong feeling of community regardless of involvement in clubs or organizations just by being on the campus and in the area,” he said.

Goldman said that one of the things he will emphasize in his speech is that being a “member of the Tribe” reaches far beyond the brick steps of William & Mary.

“We should use the time we have had at the College to influence how we use our time after Commencement,” Goldman said. “Every one of us is unique; we all make up one Tribe. I hope that through my speech, I can help everyone to remember that William & Mary is and will always be a place that they can come back to.”

Being a student Commencement speaker required two weeks of “intensive” interviewing, according to Goldman. Applicants not only had to turn in an application with two faculty references, they were required to give several auditions of their proposed speech in front of a selection committee.

“It was a difficult process and nerve wracking, but prepared me for delivering the speech at Commencement,” Goldman said.

In the end, the prospective screenwriter explained that beyond academics, it is our bonds as members of a William & Mary “Tribe” that ultimately hold us together.

“The most important thing I have learned is to work hard but to always make time to spend with the people around you,” Goldman said. “William & Mary has some of the most unique groups of people I have ever met. So while it is obviously important to work hard and do well in your classes, the relationships I built outside of class are some of the most important relationships I have had so far in my life.”