By Betsy Simon
May 4, 2020
Hayley Tague is a natural at public speaking and had written a draft of her graduation speech, but wasn’t 100 percent sure she wanted to apply to be a student commencement speaker this spring until a conversation with Greg Bierly about her Honors thesis.
“I can’t even remember what I said, but he just looked at me and said, ‘That would be a really great thing to mention…in your graduation speech,” said Tague, a mechanical engineering major from Terre Haute. “So, whether you love my speech or hate it, I guess he gets partial credit for pushing me to apply.”
During her time at State, Tague was a President’s Scholar, served as ritual chair for Zeta Tau Alpha’s executive committee, vice president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a supplemental instructor for MET103: Intro to Technical Graphics with CAD. She also started a STEM day program for a local elementary school that will continue annually.
Upon graduation, Tague has accepted a position with Britt Aero in Brazil, Ind.
Getting to address her fellow 2020 graduates during the virtual commencement ceremony will allow Tague to fulfill a personal goal.
“I would’ve liked to speak at my high school graduation, unfortunately I wasn’t valedictorian or salutatorian; it was that B+ in yearbook that really kept me down,” she laughed. “So, with all of that in mind and the feeling that I truly had something worthwhile to say, I started to come up with what I wanted to convey through my speech. I actually wrote most of it in one night in my phone notes and added a few little pieces along the way.”
Ironically, Tague’s commencement message addresses overcoming obstacles and moving into the future, however uncertain.
“I wrote it well before any of this started to affect us on the scale it has, but I feel like a lot of the points ring true to the things we’re dealing with every day,” she said. “My overall message to my classmates as we graduate is simply that it will all turn out fine, we will be okay, and to reflect briefly upon our collective experience at ISU.”
The virtual spring commencement ceremony will be livestreamed beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 16.