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Meet your student commencement speaker

Tim DeSilva was chosen to be the student speaker for the 2015 ORU commencement ceremony. DeSilva is an international business major with a minor in French.

One graduating student is chosen every year to represent their class as a speaker at the commencement ceremony. This opportunity is highly competitive and honorable.

“This honor means a lot. I have been given the responsibility to speak at one of the most important junctures in the lives of my friends, the class of 2015,” said DeSilva. “This honor represents more than a speech. It represents trust. I have been entrusted a great honor, and I am humbled that I have been given this trust.”

The position that DeSilva holds was not easy to achieve. It is a very competitive task. Students competing for this position must write the speech, memorize it and then recite the speech to the panel of strictly chosen students, teachers and board members. Several highly recognized students on campus recited their speeches at 6:30 a.m. on March 31.  Scores are taken, and the student with the highest score receives the honor of the student speaker. DeSilva had the highest score of all the participants, winning the position over all.

DeSilva describes the atmosphere at the final competition as “tense.”

“We were sent out to the Board of Trustees dining room, and we waited together till one of us was called back in. It was about this time, while I was laughing with the candidates I realized, I am standing around some of the best orators of my class. I got a little nervous to be honest,” he said.

DeSilva has done nothing short of exemplary while studying at ORU. He is currently the head resident adviser of Michael dormitory and a member of the French, Spanish and Hebrew club. He acted in six plays and showcases and participated in ORU missions as a member of the Man Team in 2013 and 2014.

“I thought that was all I could handle this year since I have other commitments. These include being engaged and planning my wedding with the most beautiful graduate of ORU, Autumn Harper,” said DeSilva.

DeSilva has recognizable academic achievements including winning the Who’s Who Competition and was recognized as one of the ORU Businesses’ Outstanding Student.  “It also signifies a personal victory. My family has sacrificed much to allow me to attend this university. They above everyone else have been fervent supporters, so for me, this honor is a small way that I can show my parents I have been a good steward of their money,” said DeSilva.

“Yet I am most proud of convincing a beautiful woman to marry me,” said DeSilva.

While outside of school DeSilva lives an active lifestyle. He enjoys hiking, swimming, and running outdoors. On other occasions, he enjoys reading, watching “Once Upon a Time” and spending time with friends and his fianceé.

DeSilva has been greatly impacted by his years at ORU and is passionate about reminding his classmates what they have instilled and how unique they are.

“I have learned invaluable lessons of leadership. I have been entrusted huge responsibilities. I have travelled the world, and I have met my future wife. I have seen God’s favor and love pour out on men and women. Truly, I have been impacted greatly,” said DeSilva.

This year’s student response speech is something to look forward to. Without giving away specific topics, DeSilva wants to portray that the class of 2015 could be the greatest generation that ever lived, and that possibility shouldn’t be weighed lightly.

“I want to tell this class that we can do anything. I want to encourage my friends to chase after their dreams,”said DeSilva.

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