Student commencement speaker: Treasure each semester
It’s an understatement to say Carrie Mattingly has been active during her years at the University of Louisville.
Mattingly, a graduating senior who will receive a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science May 10, is outgoing president of UofL’s Student Government Association. She’s been a Governor’s Scholar, Honors Scholar, REACH Ambassador, First Year Initiative CAPS mentor and past president of Kappa Delta sorority.
As one of two outstanding graduates this year, she will speak at the afternoon ceremony at UofL’s commencement at the KFC YUM! Center.
UofL Today caught up with her recently to talk about her time at UofL and her future plans.
Why did you choose UofL?
I wanted to stay in an urban area of Kentucky. I was born and raised in Lexington, and many of my friends were staying there and going to the University of Kentucky. I wanted to experience something new, and I felt at home every time I visited UofL's campus. Ultimately, I made my decision after a phone conversation with Admissions Director Jenny Sawyer. UofL went all out to recruit me and wanted me here. I was confident I would succeed.
Tell us a little about the activities you were involved with while on campus.
I’ve been involved with a multitude of campus activities, including the Honors Scholars Program, CAPS Leaders, REACH Ambassadors and many other organizations. I spent most of my time with SGA and Kappa Delta, and this year I was SGA president. Before that, I was SGA academic vice-president, a College of Arts and Sciences student senator. Last year, I was president of Kappa Delta.
What did you gain from all of those experiences?
I learned how to be a leader and a follower, how to manage disagreement, how to make a speech, how to debate, how to lobby and how to work alongside others in general. I had so much fun and made friendships I will take with me long after I graduate from UofL.
What’s led to your success?
UofL’s huge support network. Faculty and staff take an interest in students academically, professionally and personally. There were many faculty I could approach for a recommendation letter, and I knew exactly who to talk to when it came to the law school admissions process. Also, UofL alumni—even those I haven’t met personally—have responded quickly to my phone calls and emails. It’s a strong network that will continue to help me succeed in the future.
What’s been your favorite experience at UofL?
That’s a hard question because I’ve had so many wonderful experiences. But I’ll narrow it down to two—serving as SGA president and, in that role, representing students on the Board of Trustees, and watching the Cards win the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
What’s next for you?
I’ll attend law school in the fall—I’m still deciding between College of William and Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Va., and Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. I ultimately plan to return to Kentucky to live and work.
What will you tell your peers during your commencement speech?
To be honest, I haven't written my speech yet. For now, I think I'll tell students to treasure each semester they have at UofL because of how quickly time flies by. I would also tell them never be afraid to leave their comfort zone and try something new, join a new club or take a different class. UofL has so much to offer, and it would be a shame to look back after graduation and think, "I really wish I could have done (blank)."