SGA President Kirby McThompson Welcomes Class of 2019 at Convocation

Kirby McThompson, SGA President

Kirby McThompson is a Senior Business Administration Major with an Event Management minor. She has been involved in numerous leadership positions at Champlain.

As President of the SGA, Kirby hopes to enhance SGA's communication through all forms including social media. She is looking forward to a great year.

Thanks to her commitment to making the world a better place - Kirby embraced the opportunity to travel last year to South Africa. She had an internship with Learn to Earn, which is a skill development and job creation organization seeking to develop people.

Poised to graduate this spring, Kirby plans to continue her education and pursue her MBA. Kirby hails from the state of Texas and in her spare time, can be found on Pinterest, checking out design, crafts and cooking.

Good Afternoon Class of 2019!

Three years ago I sat in these very same seats, nervous for my next adventures as a college student but excited for the ample opportunities and unknown journeys I was about to embark on.

These journeys so far have included, 2 internships, 5 on-campus jobs, leadership conferences, pushing my comfort zones with academics and leadership opportunities, road trips with my college best friends, finding my passion in Strategic Business Management, finding the ability to stand on my own two feet, live on my own and SURVIVE on real food, not just ramen. And my most extreme journey was spending my last semester abroad, without any one I knew, in Cape Town South Africa.
And let me tell you, I would not have made it through that without the support and education I have received here at Champlain College.

Rewind back to my First year at Champlain: A few weeks after orientation, I was sitting in my CORE class when our professor, Chuck Bashaw, walked in and told us we needed to stop going with the grain of society. We needed to stop being lazy college students and actually do something besides study and party. As the professor who will make you scream our school's motto "AUDEAMUS" or "Let us Dare" at random intervals throughout your time with him, when he says something that sounds like a challenge or dare, you better believe that is what it is.

So I took him up on his "Dare" and got involved. I became one of the first Robert P. Stiller School of Business SGA Senators. As a SGA member, you have the privilege to work with the academic deans, students, and administrators to learn how this campus runs, and what we as the student body can do to change it for the better. Over the two plus years I have been with the SGA, I have seen our program grow immensely.

From the variety of club offerings, to the grant money we are able to share with the students and staff, to our annual election parties and leadership dinners, we are growing and finding our spot here on campus. One of my favorite memories of SGA so far, was our ICE Bucket challenge last year with our new President, Don Laackman - who knew cold ice water; dripping down your back could have such a lasting impression.

I also became an active member in our Champlain community in regards to the classroom and in leadership roles. The past two years, I was a Resident Assistant for Pearl and Bankus Hall. Through this role, I have had many ups and downs and discovered a great respect for this campus and all the hidden members of our community. From messy twister, to heart to hearts, to "Friendsgiving's" to planning social events as a student activity planner, this campus is full of entertaining moments, memories and friendships. Please just let go of your fears and try out what this campus has to offer.

The academics here at Champlain are a wild wind adventure! I remember sitting in my Micro Economics class sophomore year, and somehow I gained a new nickname that the entire business department now knows... I am Kirby McNerdy... and you just have to accept what comes with the ups and downs of college level academics. I will say this: Do your homework, (not at the last minute), show up to group meetings, and give all of your classes a chance. That COR class, where Chuck "dared" us, was one of my favorite classes I have taken here at Champlain. I am best friends with 3 of those classmates, and to this day still laugh out loud at the conversations we would all partake in.

I am one of the students on campus that everyone knows, mostly because I have a strange laugh and you can hear it from the bottom of campus when I am in the library, seriously just ask anyone and they will know what laugh I am referring to. And to my friends sitting in the audience right now, pretty pretty please do not attempt to get me to laugh right now, for the sake of all of Burlington let's save that moment for another day.

But I am also "well-known" because I take the time to be involved, stay involved and have fun with it.

Now as I stand here today, as your Student Government Association President, I am daring you to get involved.

Be the students that change the definition for what it means to be a college student. When you sign up for something and you enjoy it, follow through. Be respectful. Be time conscious. Be active members of this Champlain community. Engage in the opportunities provided to you by countless groups on campus, by your student government, by your professors and fellow classmates.

Be the class that understands that college is more than an academic education and time to party. Here at Champlain, college means finding your passions, strengths, weaknesses, friends, as well as discovering who you are as a student, friend, club member, and potential employee.

So to the Class of 2019, "Let Us Dare" to live up to the challenge I have set before you. Enjoy the little things about college, the memories, and the strangest moments, because time flies!

And remember as your student government president, I am always here to listen to your ideas, concerns and even your funny stories. The door is always open, you just have to take a chance and walk through it.

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit