Student Speaker - Rena Detrixhe, BFA Visual Art

Hello everyone. It’s quite an honor to be standing up here, and I must say it is a little intimidating to be speaking before a graduating class that I so admire. The last five years in the School of the Arts has been a pretty incredible experience for me. I have had the opportunity to work with amazing professors and mentors as passionate for teaching as they are for their own practice. I have made wonderful friendships, and have watched my peers grown into confident and accomplished young artists. I have had the opportunity to research, to travel, to create work that I’m proud of, to fail, and to pick myself up….and I’ve gained confidence I never knew I would possess.

I wrote a speech…I was going to talk to you about collaboration, about the importance of building a community and surrounding yourself with people who support and inspire you. I wanted to encourage you all to travel, to see as much as you can, and meet as many people as you can meet…to take risks, and to challenge yourself.

Instead, I hope to demonstrate this through a song. I hope you will all find this exceptionally silly and incredibly appropriate. And remember…all of you might not be from Kansas, but you went to school here, so you will likely never escape this legacy. So enjoy it.


*Sings “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with ukulele*

“Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?”


Thank you. Congratulations on your graduation and have fun!