Hamline News

Undergraduate Student Commencement Speaker Chosen


Anaid Plascencia has been chosen to represent Hamline’s class of 2019 at the undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18.

Plascencia is a double major in political science and global studies with a certificate in teaching English as a second language (ESL). She was chosen for her long track record of student involvement. During her time at Hamline, Plascencia served as a residential advisor for two years, a student ambassador with the undergraduate admission office, and as a McVay Fellow helping to mentor high school kids during the summers. She also participated in the Model United Nations team during her junior year, where she joined students from around the world in New York to pass a mock UN resolution.

“To be chosen as the student speaker for commencement feels unreal,” said Plascencia. “I had never expected to be in this position. Many different feelings cross my mind. There is a sense of honor. I feel as though I am making my family proud.”

Plascencia originally hails from Michoacan, Mexico. She and her family moved to the United States when Plascencia was only nine years old. It was a difficult transition; Plascencia and her family did not speak English and had to adjust quickly to their new lives in the States.

They settled in Hastings, Minnesota where Plascencia was inspired by her ESL teacher Sandra Hisakuni (a 2010 Hamline graduate from the master’s of English as a second language program) to take on high school honors projects and eventually, to apply to Hamline.

The decision had a ripple effect across Plascencia’s family. Now, her younger brother is a junior at Hamline.

After graduation, Plascencia plans to continue taking language courses and is preparing to apply to graduate school for religious studies.

“I am humbled to be speaking to friends and classmates who have formed my community for the last four years,” said Plascencia. “Before the audition happened, I prayed that I may hold an honest intention to share values and ideas that are important to me, and that those who may listen find some joy and reassurance.”

By Kristen Wunderlich