Speed School grad Ryan Frazier to be afternoon commencement speaker
Louisville native and Louisville Male High School graduate, John Ryan Frazier plans to stay in town after commencement.
The J.B. Speed School of Engineering student has excelled inside and outside of the classroom, and carries a 4.0 grade point average for his academic career at UofL.
Frazier was a co-op at Marathon Oil Corp., and also has had classroom experience as a grading assistant and supplemental calculus 1 instructor. His minor is in mathematics and he also uses it in tutoring high school students in calculus 1.
An active member of Baptist Campus Ministries, he recently went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic to help rebuild a community.
UofL Today caught up with him recently to talk about his time at UofL and his future plans.
Why did you choose UofL?
Number one, I’ve lived in Louisville my entire life. Louisville is the best place ever. If you go anywhere else, it’s just not as good. So to stay in Louisville was a big deal. The second reason is that UofL Speed School has a really good co-op program where you get to work with different companies while you’re in school as a requirement. That gives you a leg up on pretty much everyone else, even if they go to somewhere like MIT. They don’t have that kind of experience when they graduate.
What activities have you participated in while at UofL?
I started off immediately at the Baptist Campus Ministries [(BCM)]. I did Ultimate Frisbee, which was a part of intramurals. I participated in the Speed School Student Council, which is Speed School’s governing body that is subservient to SGA. I was involved in BCM for all four years of my undergraduate career. They did a lot of mission trips here and around Kentucky and they’re really involved on campus trying to get to know everybody.
What was your favorite experience while at UofL?
That’s tough. The BCM has their own team for Ultimate Frisbee. It was just awesome getting to know all the guys and girls on that team. You have those moments that you can think back on and everybody shares. That’s just a specific example of all five years I’ve been here; each class you get to know somebody different.
How did you react when you found out that you were chosen to speak at commencement?
I almost fell over. I’m still so nervous about it. I didn’t even know that I was being nominated for it. When I found out that I was going to speak, I was so honored. I am really humbled by it, as well. It’s bizarre that they picked me out of all the other schools within UofL.
What are your plans after graduation?
I’m staying here. I have a job at C&I Engineering. I’ve already started working part time for them. I start full time on May 13, which is just two days after graduation.
What are you going to tell your classmates in your speech?
I’ve thought about so many things and it all has to be under three minutes. The weekend before I found out, I was listening to a sermon about Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. This was around Easter time. He was showing that a small act of service can lead to really big things. I was just thinking about that message. People who graduate want to know what they’re going to do when they get out of school. It seems like such a big thing. Jesus showed us by example that we should strive to serve, not be served; all we have to do is a small service and those small services for people can turn into really big things. I want to share a message that you don’t have to worry about the huge things because the small things, as simple as serving another person, add up to make a difference.