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The Sunflower

Started from the bottom now we’re here

Joshua Duncan

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Graduation brings on a sudden feeling that the road you’ve been traveling on becomes that metaphorical fork in the road. 

It begins with joy, the exhale of stress, knowing that this particular road is over. Followed by a “WTF” do I do now phase as you look left, look right, then look left again.

 As you stand looking down at your feet pondering your next move, you start to remember all the escapades that have carried you up to this point. An air of melancholy surrounds you, and you see your career as a Shocker flash before your eyes.

Thirteen years ago, I started my collegiate journey at Hawaii Pacific University. From there, I spent eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps, was deployed twice to Iraq, worked for two large corporations, attaining a hefty salary, married the woman of my dreams, had three children (my wife did all the work), bought my first house and have started my own business. Strange, the “was-never-going-to-happen” thought of getting my degree is now “it’s going to happen next week.” 

After dedicating the past three years of my life to Wichita State University, I will walk across the stage at Charles Koch Arena, forever becoming a Shocker alumnus.

It is important for me, now that I have this platform, to acknowledge a few faculty members that deserve praise. 

Amy DeVault is a well-known name for those of us at the Elliott School of Communication. More than just a name, Amy has been a person who has cared for my journey, every step of the way, making sure I stayed focused.

 Kevin Hager, as quiet as he may be, has graced me with advice and information that I will retain for the rest of my life.

I would like to thank my loving and supportive wife, Carly Peckman. Without her, this accomplishment would not have been possible. To my three kids — Lyric, Oliver and Isaiah — Daddy is done with his homework for good. And last but certainly not least, Gigi. You knew when and how to guide me when I was overwhelmed. 

Semper Fi and farewell to Shocker Nation.

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