SGA President Alex Lopez Addresses Celebration of Excellence Attendees

NSU SGA President Alex Lopez at Celebration of ExcellenceSpeech Delivered January 27, 2018

My name is Alex Lopez and I am a senior, studying Marketing Management in the Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

Just three short years ago, I remember touring NSU and seeing this huge tent on the university lawn with no idea of what it was.

I never could have imagined that one day, I would be given the opportunity to speak at an event like this, and finally get to say that I was inside THE white tent.

Being the youngest of four children, each of my siblings had vastly different collegiate experiences, so I could never envision what my time at NSU would look like.

I had absolutely no idea what to expect as I began my journey as a Shark three years ago.

Looking back at my journey here at NSU, I have truly been given amazing opportunities like no other.

When talking about NSU, I often talk about the “type” of student that attends this institution.

This university does a phenomenal job at recruiting hardworking, go-getter students, who not only care about helping others, but also seek to better one another’s collegiate experience.

This university instills grit in its students from the first day they walk on campus.

Grit is defined as firmness of the mind or spirit, an unyielding courage in the face of hardship or adversity.

My fellow peers are some of the most determined people that I know.

From their faculty-mentored research to the community service they partake in and their athletic endeavors, each student in this institution has a passion for what they do, inside and outside of the classroom.

It seems as if the passion and unyielding dedication to bettering the university atmosphere rubs off on you.

I believe this drive is deeply rooted within our core value of community.

At NSU, students, faculty, staff, and alumni share a common identity and purpose through their engagement with the outside community.

Something that I have discovered when reflecting on my time at NSU has been my own personal engagement.

Early on in my freshman year, I became involved with the Undergraduate Student Government Association as a Freshman Senator.

This allowed me the opportunity to make impactful changes that tangibly bettered the collegiate experience of those around me.

By joining the undergraduate SGA, I truly found that although I can do things for NSU, NSU can do much, much more for me.

Learning this opened Pandora’s box, because this institution has truly given me more than I’ve ever asked for from it, which has been capped off with my role as the Undergraduate Student Government President.

I came into this university with a mindset to get involved and make a difference.

I had no idea what that difference would be or how I would make it, but my grit and my passion grew stronger every day as a shark.

I began diversifying my involvements.

I became a Student Site Leader, I applied to be a Resident Assistant, I decided to compete in business case competitions hosted by the Office of Career Development, and I set out to become a member of President’s 64.

All of these diverse opportunities that NSU gave me stuck true to its core value of being student-centered.

The University prides itself on the fact that students are the focus of institutional priorities, resource decisions and planning.

Advocating for student academic success and professional development are the main goals of NSU, which has been incredibly apparent to me during my time here.

My favorite quote is, by Milton Berle, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

During my time at NSU, I have not had to build a door, rather the university has provided me with an abundance of opportunities, allowing me to grow as an individual.

NSU has given me the chance to lead three service trips throughout my time as a Student Site Leader.

I have never felt prouder to be a shark than when I was hand-mixing cement to help better primary school infrastructures during my time in Negril, Jamaica.

During my time in Asheville, North Carolina, distributing fresh produce in 30-degree weather to families who do not have access to healthy food options, I have never felt more humbled.

Presenting a marketing plan to the Regional Manager of Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and winning a scholarship for doing so, made me realize how transferable the lessons learned in the classroom can be to my future career goals.

Frankly, I am always #blessed to be a shark.

Without your incredible generosity, my fellow students of today and tomorrow would not have the plethora of resources and opportunities that are available to us today.

From the cutting-edge research taking place on our campus, to the amazing learning opportunities that will continue to be provided with the construction of the teaching hospital, the academic merits that this campus encompasses are countless.

Outside of the classroom, students are provided with an enriched learning experience like no other.

The leadership development, civic engagement opportunities, and collegiate atmosphere at NSU have allowed me to flourish into the person I am today; moreover, the person I will become tomorrow.

The impact your benevolence has had on my life and my peers’ is infinite, and for that I thank you.