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We are Warriors!


Donnah Laster

Carrying the mace for 52,844 days

By Donnah Laster, M.B.A.
Wayne State University Commencement Address, 2014

Walking into this prestigious ceremony, we all followed the 51-inch Wayne State University Mace, held by Wayne State’s Sergeant-at-Arms. Over the years, this specific mace has lost its original functional use, but blessed we are, class of 2014, because it has not lost its touch.

Just like the millions of WSU alum who came before us, we too are blessed with the opportunity to call ourselves Wayne State University Warriors. The difference, however, between us and our predecessors is the condition of our surroundings. Detroit needs fixing, our country needs healing and our planet needs saving.

But we are warriors. Although we are not literal warriors of battle, we are warriors in the figurative sense, showing great vigor, courage and aggressiveness. We have been made to persevere, sustain, triumph and train.

School of business, we need you! The city in which our precious university resides is in a financial crisis, and our country is still 17 trillion dollars in debt. Use what you have learned at Wayne State to turn us back around.

School of education, we need you! The Detroit Public School system is becoming smaller by the year, and students are entering high school and college less prepared than years past. Dive into the school systems and teach our future warriors how to fight.

School of Social Work, we need you! Like the Mamluk warriors who held the values of courage and generosity, and who are well-known for their treatment of wounds, may you go out into this world with armor filled of bravery and help our brothers and sisters in need.

School of Engineering, we need you! Make sure the School of Business have the best places to make transactions, make sure our future warriors are equipped with the most innovative technologies to learn, and make sure our social workers are given the most help in their day to day functions, so they may be of help to others.

We all need each other, and the world needs us!

To this day, our Wayne State Hymn can still be song with pride, “Young art thou, young and strong.” Because even though Wayne State University has been educating, adapting with the changes in society, and producing the best alum across the world for 52, 844 days, the number of days it has yet to serve still makes us young.

Wayne State University Class of 2014, may we leave this place stronger, bolder and more prepared than we entered. May we leave as warriors, prepared to help each other, and eager to help the world. Those who have come before us have maintained an incredible legacy for 52,844 days. Let it not stop today, tomorrow or ever.


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