To view the graduation ceremony in its entirety, please click here for the student broadcast from Saturday evening. John Quiñones's commencement speech begins at 48:55.
The Episcopal School of Dallas was honored to welcome John Quiñones, Emmy-winning journalist and anchor of one of the highest-rated TV newsmagazines, “What Would You Do?,” as the commencement speaker at the graduation of the Class of 2017.
This amazing opportunity came about in a rather unconventional way. As Niko Gies ’17 revealed in his introduction of Mr. Quiñones at graduation, he and two other students, Mark Reppe ’17 and Alex Smith ’17, originally came into contact with him for the purpose of an ethics class project. Gies’s persistent nature encouraged Mr. Quiñones to accept his offer of a FaceTime interview for the project. Soon after the project was complete, Mr. Quiñones's name topped the list of potential student-selected commencement speakers. This speaks volumes for the impact that Mr. Quiñones had on all who knew of his generosity.
And so, this past weekend, Mr. Quiñones stood in front of family, friends, and graduates of ESD’s Class of 2017 to discuss the power of perseverance and compassion. One of the many reasons he accepted the job, he disclosed, was because he believes his show epitomizes the Mission of The Episcopal School of Dallas.
“[ESD] endeavors to have each of the students graduate with an educated conscience and that’s exactly what the TV show I do is all about,” Quiñones explained.
Through preparing young men and women for lives of intellectual discovery, integrity, and purpose, the ESD Mission deeply resonated with Mr. Quiñones, reminding him of his own childhood and adolescence where he also embraced sound learning, discipline, and faith, just as ESD students strive to do.
After his powerful speech regarding overcoming obstacles, he left the Class of 2017 with these words: “Envision yourself as a success. Cleanse your brain of any and all negative influences. If you believe in yourselves above everything else, then no one can stop you.”