Excerpts from Vandenberg-Daves' commencement address:
"When I first arrived at St. Kate's, I was drawn in by the gardens, the pond, and the woods, and by the mission to educate women to lead and influence. I could not have known then how I would be challenged and supported to become the woman I am today. My time at St. Kate's has been filled with moments of clarity and growth that will influence my thinking for the rest of my life."
"This internal call to action, this understanding of the impact of my voice, is the value of a St. Kate's liberal arts degree. We cannot study art, sociology, nursing, philosophy, English, or biology, without beginning to uncover and understand the threads of connection between all living things; how the fruits of our labor are passed from hand to hand. And once we understand how closely we are held together by this world and how much our own actions matter to the greater whole, we cannot be content to stand in complacency, apathy, or fear."
"St. Kate's has encouraged and empowered me, and each of you, to become someone who is equipped to lead and influence with compassion, self-assurance, and a solid foundation of knowledge and skills. It is here that we learned to advocate for ourselves and for others; to tackle complex questions; to listen deeply; to hold conflicting truths in our hearts; to claim our educations with humility. And it is here that we learn not only to look beyond ourselves, but to take down walls, expanding our understanding of neighbor in service of compassion and connection."