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Commencement 2012 speaker Sandy Banks, a Los Angeles Times columnist, addresses graduates at the Gibson Amphitheatre.

Times Columnist to Grads: 'Believe You Have Something to Offer'

May 14, 2012 -- Nearly 500 Mount graduates celebrated their degrees on May 7 at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City during a ceremony that featured a commencement address from Los Angeles Times columnist Sandy Banks.

"Trust your own voice and your own instinct," Banks told graduates. Success will come through hard work and some good luck, she said. "Some people would say that your class, the class of 2012, is an unlucky class because you're graduating into a very tough economy. ... I'm here to tell you that you are not doomed. You are not going to be a victim of poor timing. You're fortunate that you have been educated at a university that clearly nurtures your dreams, values your insight and encourages you to reach."

"Keep moving forward and conduct yourself with dignity and treat each task as if it matters, because it does. There is a dignity to being and to doing in a righteous way," Banks added. She noted that she takes her role seriously as the only female columnist in the Times' page A2 rotation. "I didn't set out to blaze trails. I just set out to do my job and to do it well. I learned that I don't have to humor people who want to marginalize me. I don't have to grovel to win approval, and I don't have to grandstand to show my merit. You young women are already ahead of the game. We understand that success doesn't just mean a bigger paycheck. It means a bigger chance to make a contribution. It means a well balanced life and personal satisfaction and a feeling that you have contributed. Fundamentally believe that you have something to offer," Banks said.

The Mount bestowed its highest honor, the Carondelet Medal, on the Rev. Monsignor Clement J. Connolly, who joined the College's Board of Trustees in 2003.

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