Carrying on La Salle’s tradition of having a student deliver the Commencement address, Jacob Dylik, of Hamburg, N.Y., addressed the Class of 2012 at La Salle’s undergraduate Commencement ceremony on May 20, 2012.
“My speech attempted to accomplish three simple points—celebrate the past, acknowledge the present, and motivate for the future,” Dylik said. “Commencement can be a sad time, filled with the emotion of leaving a place that’s played host to so many fond memories, experiences, and relationships. But it’s up to us to use what we’ve experienced and put that to good use in the future—bettering ourselves, our communities, our families, and, ultimately, the world in some form or another. Something that may get neglected at Commencement is the fact that ‘to commence’ means to begin or to start. In that way, we need to look to the start of the next stage of our lives.”
Dylik has a 3.98 GPA and was selected as the top senior among communication majors by the Communication Department’s faculty.
He has been involved in many activities, both on and off campus. He is the Vice President of the La Salle University Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the La Salle University Student Ambassadors, who assist with the Commencement exercises, which is how Dylik decided he wanted to be the speaker on his graduation day.
“I remember seeing [senior] Hannah Datz deliver a Commencement speech my sophomore year and thinking, ‘Wow, I can actually audition to do a speech like that?’” Dylik said. “Ever since learning that I could audition and deliver one, I’ve wanted to do it. I remember [senior] Pat Terranova spoke last year, and I realized how much of an honor and privilege it was to deliver the last message that our class will hear before departing into the real world. It’s a big challenge, but all of my friends and the faculty members have been extremely supportive—they’re my inspiration.”
In addition to the Ambassadors and PRSSA, Dylik has been involved with the Student Governments’ Association, the student newspaper, the Collegian, University Ministry and Service, the La Salle Singers, and the track and field and cross country teams. Dylik also went on the Project Appalachia student service trip to Harlan County, Ky., during spring break.
He has had internships at Subaru of America’s national headquarters in corporate communications; in the Digital Consulting Department at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, a communications agency in New York City; and at Diccicco-Battista Communications, a public relations firm in suburban Philadelphia. He is currently a marketing consultant at Swarthmore Co-op, a community owned food market, where he manages the co-op’s public relations efforts, including social media.
“I was originally called to visit La Salle for running track and field. I came in April of my senior year of high school and fell in love with the Communication Department and the feeling I got just walking around the campus,” said Dylik, who concentrated his communication major in public relations. “I remember (communication professor) Brother Gerry Molyneaux gave me the best tour I’ve ever experienced—complete with high-energy and emotional demonstrations of the TV and editing equipment. At the end of my first visit, I remember walking through the quad and thinking, ’Wow, this just feels right.’ I’ve since loved my experience at La Salle, plan to continue my involvement post-graduation as an active alumnus, and have truly felt that this is the right place for me. It’s all about the people and community at La Salle—we’re one of a kind.”
After graduation, Dylik will start a full-time position as a communications business associate with Ford Motor Company’s Ford College Graduate Program in Dearborn, Mich.
By Katherine Blessing