Andrew Kuhlman May Commencement Speaker

May 16, 2011

Kuhlman was May 2011 student commencement speaker

Reality is what we make of it. One graduating student was able to impart his version of reality to the crowd of graduates, family, faculty, staff and administration gathered at Carver Arena on Saturday.

Andrew Kuhlman was selected in a highly competitive contest to be the class of 2011 student commencement speaker. Kuhlman graduated May 14 with a degree in theatre performance.

Kuhlman was encouraged to apply by a friend and took it as an opportunity to organize his feelings about leaving campus. He was not expecting to be chosen, but is humbled by the honor to speak during the ceremony.

"I'm a sentimental person. This was a way to say goodbye to Bradley, talk to my fellow students about what they have meant me and honor my fellow graduates," Kuhlman said.

Though Kuhlman's Bradley reality largely revolved around the Hartmann Center for the Performing Arts, he was involved in a variety of university activities. As a Bradley STAR, he gave tours to prospective students and passed on his passion for the university to the next generation.

"I show them what Bradley has to offer them individually," Kuhlman said. "As a person who has been there, I just want them to be happy. I love making people happy."

He has also been one of the student heads of recruitment for the theatre department. The best part, said Kuhlman, is seeing a student's face light up when they see the Meyer Jacobs Theatre for the first time. 

Kuhlman was awarded the second ever Shining Star award for his contributions to the theatre department.

"Andrew is a tremendously giving young man. He gives of his talents on stage. He gives of himself to the department," said George Brown, chair of the Department of Theater Arts.

That sense of giving to his friends and colleagues makes him someone who is greatly respected by all who know him.

Kuhlman has been a constant positive presence on campus and his warmth, energy and talents will be greatly missed. He credits the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts for giving him the opportunity to excel and evolve over the last four years.

"It's amazing how much you grow and how much the Slane College teaches you. Even the teachers you've never had for a class become lifelong friends," he said.

After graduation, Kuhlman is headed back to his hometown of St. Louis, where he will work at Abra-Kid-Abra, teaching children comedy, magic tricks and circus skills. 

Kuhlman advises students to take some time to develop what their Bradley reality means to them before graduation. College is a time to grow and develop opinions about the world and memories can be found in every building on campus.

"We defined our reality," said Kuhlman, during his commencement address.