Quimby Takes Stage as Commencement Speaker


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    Belou Quimby

Newswise — MOUNT VERNON, Iowa - Belou Quimby ’19 is no stranger on the Cornell College campus.

You can often find her chatting with a classmate, staff member, friend, or faculty member–always with a smile on her face.

Soon, she’ll be chatting with the entire graduating class of 2019 as she takes the stage as the graduation speaker on May 12. She was selected by her peers, something she says made her feel surprised and honored. The biochemistry and molecular biology major is already planning out her speech.

“I definitely want the speech to be inspiring in a fun and goofy way!” Quimby said. “I want the class to be able to realize how much work we put into getting our degrees, and that we were successful at doing so. It is a big deal!”

Quimby hails from San José del Cabo, Mexico, and has plans of becoming a veterinarian. The theatre minor will work at a veterinary clinic in Iowa City next year. Then, she will apply to a vet school with hopes to begin during the fall of 2020. There’s one thing for sure–she’s well-prepared.

“I think Cornell has prepared me for life after college in many ways, though a major one is being able to complete tasks in an efficient and complete manner in a short amount of time,” Quimby said. “Even though we may sometimes romanticize the ‘I can do anything in 18 days’ motto for Cornell’s One Course At A Time curriculum, it is more accurate than we give it credit for. A lot of students on this campus now know how to get whole research projects done in four days, which will definitely make us stand out in the work industry!”

She says a lot of professors and staff members have had a lasting impact on her, including Jai Shanata, Brandi Shanata, Mark Kendall, Tammy Mildenstein, Cynthia Strong, Lisa Hearne, Brian Nowak-Thompson, Craig Tepper, Craig Teague, and Leslie Hankins.

During her time at Cornell, she also says she has re-connected with her love for learning, which helped her realize her education was about more than just getting good grades. That mindset became the key to her success.

Now, she’s looking forward to taking the stage at graduation to chat with her peers one final time, no doubt with a big smile on her face. And in the back of her mind–she’ll be thinking of all the memories she’s created over her four years at Cornell.

“The moments I spent with my teachers learning things they are passionate about,” Belou said. “Field trips and lab times. Endless hours of laughter with my friends, both when we are joking around and crying about our class content. Dancing the many nights away with Slick Shoes. Studying God’s Word with Deep Water. Singing with my peers in choir. Going on the steel drums tour up to Michigan. The many lunches I spent with both my friends and the faculty and staff. The 1 a.m., sleep-deprived conversations with my roommate. I could go on and on about my time at Cornell, honestly.”

The ceremony for the class of 2019 starts at 10 a.m. and will be held, weather permitting, outdoors on the quad bordered by South Hall, College Hall, and Norton Geology Center on the Cornell College campus.

About Cornell College: 

Cornell College, a selective liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa, offers a distinctive One Course At A Time curriculum, immersing students in a single academic subject during each 18-day block. With a student body from 47 states and 19 foreign countries, and renowned faculty, speakers, and entertainers, Cornell offers the world from its hilltop campus.

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