Not all of the graduating student body will get to hear Noah Hurowitz’s commencement speech. This year graduation will be split into two ceremonies, which means that each session will only get to see one of this year’s two student commencement speakers.
“Their loss,” said Hurowitz, chuckling.
He said at one point that he was pretty sure his speech had been passed over when he hadn’t heard back from the selection committee in over a week. Shortly after, though, the selection committee asked him to read the speech in front of university representatives as one of the finalists. He and Roya Hejabian, a graduate student in social work, were chosen from ten finalists to represent the student body with a speech at this May’s graduation ceremonies.
Hurowitz seemed to have his nerves in check, though, when he mentioned the more white-knuckle aspects of delivering a commencement address — “Because who doesn’t want to talk about themselves in front of thousands of people?” He wasn’t looking to spoil any surprises in his speech, but he said he wanted to talk a bit about his experiences at USM.
“I wanted it to be something that people could relate to,” said Hurowitz, “a bit of my story.” He said part of the reason he submitted a speech was that he felt it important to make note of the somewhat momentous occasion. “We’re graduating, we’re moving forward.”
Hurowitz wanted to make his speech appeal to the diverse and somewhat non-traditional student body at USM.
“There are a lot of older students – a lot of continuing education students. I wanted to appeal to the people who were not your normal, straight out of high school graduate.”
Hurowitz was not at all coerced into putting a feather in the cap of The Free Press for his experiences there as news editor for three semesters.
“From the start, I got involved with The Free Press, and that has just absolutely changed my life.”
Hurowitz enjoyed working at the school paper because it put him in touch with the often aloof student body at USM. “It’s a great way of connecting with the USM community more,” said Hurowitz, “which can be a hard thing to do because there’s not too much of one.”
Hurowitz used his experiences at The Free Press to help him get his current job as news assistant for the Forecaster, and he’s looking forward to doing the Portland news beat for the foreseeable future.
“There’s a lot of stuff to cover,” Hurowitz said. “There are a lot of really interesting things going on.”
Hurowitz also spoke very highly of the semester he spent at an intensive Spanish language program in Peru, something USM helped him coordinate logistically and financially.
“Big shoutout to the Office of International Programs,” said Hurowitz. “They helped me find money and find scholarships.”
Hurowitz walked away from his experience in Peru with a 50-page paper he authored entirely in Spanish and a lot of memories. “It was life changing,” he said.
Hurowitz came to USM from his home state of Massachusetts, where he completed his first two years at a community college in Greenfield, a small town in western Massachusetts. He said that Maine is starting to feel like home, though, and he’s looking forward to being in Portland for a while. He managed to underscore some of the classic differences between the two states, though when describing trips back to his hometown of Arlington, just west of Boston. “Every time I go back to Boston I spend the first half hour being, like, why are people driving so rudely? And then I just get right back into it.”