Commencement Speech by Humberto Solis

 

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen, Honored guest, Trustees, and to the graduating class of 2006 ďLETíS GET READY TO RUMBLE.Ē

 

My name is Humberto Solis and I am an Entertainment Technology major, in fact Iím the 1st to graduate in this brand new exciting major.

 

I have a lot to be grateful for here at MCCC but most of all Iím extremely grateful to my support team of my wife, Mrs. Norma Solis, and my family who have been behind me 100%. How you can go to college without someone in your corner is nearly impossible.

I came from a family of 10. My mother and father are Mr. & Mrs. Emerito and Isabel Solis of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. I was born the 7th child in the same year that Puerto Rico gained associated state/commonwealth status and so I was right on time to start my American debut. In 1956 we came for a better way of life and so we quickly learned the new language and my parents found employment in Trentonís then booming factories. In those days you could leave a job in the morning and have a new one in the afternoon. In P.R. my Father dropped out of school at an early age to work in the sugar cane fields, but my mother did make it to the 8th grade which was quite an accomplishment at that time and place.

 

School endowed them with a love of reading which was passed down to all of us. My Father had a side job selling used goods, and books were always at hand, in transition.If you saw something you liked youíd better read it quick because it could be sold by the next day.We didnít realize then that the simple act of reading could empower and broaden our world, we were just having a good time losing ourselves in the world of books.

 

Our faith in God and the love and support of our family was the bond which saw us thru all our difficulties and gave us great joy, peace and contentment.

 

As my father did, so did I. Finding employment in the Trenton factories I eventually ended up at Generous Motors, excuse me General Motors and shortly thereafter my attachment with MCCC started with a computer course offered on site at GM, and then I met my future wife who was attending classes at Mercer. We married and started raising a family and for 19 years I continued working at GM, while also hosting ďThe Gospelite Spiritual Show,Ē a popular radio program on WTTM 920 AM when all of a sudden I was diagnosed as having colon cancer, well that was a setback to put it mildly, but the treatment was successful and shortly afterwards I accepted a buyout from GM and started making plans for a career change. I dropped out of school at 16 and I didnít make it back to school until I was 44.

 

In 1996 when I walked in and took my GED test at Mercerís Kerney Campus and passed. Having earlier taken a computer course I followed that up with a computer tech course and found work in the industry assembling, programming and delivering computers.

 

Having a restless spirit, it wasnít long before I became interested in pursuing other options, but health issues from the past caused me to go into a year long battle with chemotherapy treatments which left me debilitated, hardly able to walk.

 

Around the end of my treatments I read an article that Manex Entertainment was coming to Trenton. Now this really piqued my interest and fired me up. At their ground breaking ceremonies Mercer had a table set up touting their new proposed Entertainment Technology major. I didnít waste any time enrolling and even though the courses werenít developed yet, that was of little matter. I could complete all my prerequisites and core courses and take the others as they were introduced. Yeah boy, this was it, finally some steak to chew on.

 

This new goal energized me and my health started rebounding and I havenít stopped running or looked back since. One of the great lessons Iíve learned here is that the dream will come no closer and that Iíll have to run after it. I am the active participant in making my dreams come true. Recently it had been noted in the school paper some of the studentís views on what Mercer had instilled in their lives, strong study habits, time management skills, and good discipline to be successful at other schools, coupled with hands on experience with internships that gave us the confidence to know we are well prepared. Believe me this has been no cakewalk, but the energy and enthusiasm of the school and its overwhelmingly supportive and professional staff was like a ship riding a fast current that pulled us and forced us to navigate the right way, the successful way, so successful in fact that it has opened a door of opportunity for me to continue my studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa.

 

And Mercer is the ship that is taking me there. My family is my crew and main support and they also receive much joy and energy in helping me as I go along. I am so grateful for a loving and supportive family that with me can take pride in my accomplishments because actually itís their accomplishments also, as so for Mercer. I am a man on a mission, but Iím not theĒ Last of the ďMoricansĒ hopefully there will be many others. I got involved in a dream at Mercer and

Mercer got involved in my dream with me. Mercer was my best choice. I have no doubts about that. Education does outweigh it all. Out of a family of 10, 6 made it to college.Not a bad score for a family that started with little more than faith, love and determination. My parents are no longer with me to celebrate my accomplishments, but there is a sea of proud and radiant faces of the parents and family members of the graduates here today that have the honor and privilege of having participated in a great undertaking. This is the culmination of your dreams being realized also and we the graduates are all so very proud and grateful for your having stayed the course with us, believing in us, guiding us thru these uncertain waters.

 

These diplomas belong more to you because of your unselfish and loving participation in our lives. We thank you so very much for all youíve done for us, and to the student who didnít have the support that you so richly deserved, you who toiled, struggled and persevered against many odds, I congratulate you on your determination and discipline that you have developed during these trying and exciting period of your lives.

 

I have a short melody of a song about how I feel about Mercer that Iíd like to sing to you in closing entitled ďSomething Wonderful, Something GoodĒ

 

ďSomething wonderful, something good, all my failures you understood, all I had left was brokenness and strife, but Mercer made something beautiful out of my life, Mercer made something beautiful out of my life.Ē††