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Student commencement speaker: Lessons from the ball field

Chloe Carr is the 2023 University of Utah student commencement speaker and will be sharing lessons she learned with her dad at the ball field.

Though Chloe Carr completed her bachelor’s degree in marketing in December, that isn’t where she learned her most important life lessons. For the University of Utah’s 2023 student commencement speaker, those lessons came at the ballpark with her dad. 

“How ironic is it that it took me until 21 to realize I learned the most about life at 11?” Carr said in her speech. 

Carr will share some of those lessons from the ball field in her speech at the General Commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 4 at 6 p.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. 

“I’m the youngest of three,” Carr said in her speech. “I spent my summers at the ball field cheering on my siblings in softball and baseball. I grew up playing soccer and basketball, but during the summer, the focus was on them and their sports. I still don’t even know what the infield fly rule means, and maybe most of you don’t either. But what I do know is that, next to my dad, baseball was where I found my way.”

Though the playing field for America’s pastime is where Carr learned many lessons, it was never where she was meant to stay—she had to grow up. And it was those lessons at the diamond that helped her make her way from Nebraska to Utah to attend the U. 

“In school, I was challenged beyond what I believed I was capable of and pushed out of my comfort zone into that space where I’ve been told growth happens,” Carr said. “As a result, my dreams got bigger and the doors that were once closed were kicked in. I was 1,000 miles away from everything I had ever known, and somehow, I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be.”

At the U, Carr excelled academically while being deeply involved in the community. She completed her degree in two and a half years, was a business scholar, a member of Pi Beta Phi and the director of media for HerCampus Utah, among many other extracurricular activities. And of course, Carr said she joined the MUSS and frequently attended athletic events. Now, she works at Korn Ferry Institute as a communications specialist.

Carr’s experiences at the U introduced her to a wide variety of people who played a significant role in her life. Each of those people had a different idea of what happiness was—ideas that were shaped by their own “ball field” memories and experiences, she said.

“Our lives may look vastly different from the dreams we have dreamt and the plans we have made,” Carr said.  “Some of that is growth, some of that is sacrifice and some of that is just out of our control. Who we are is the only aspect of life that we get to fully and wholeheartedly decide. Be true to that person and work like hell to be happy.”