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Spotlight: Alex Lally, this years Commencement Speaker

by Victoria Velez

by Victoria Velez

Alex Lally, senior design technology major and the 2018 senior commencement speaker, came to Purchase College prepared to make her mark on the world, and she will be graduating having done just that.

Although not a huge fan of public speaking, Lally was inspired to apply to become the senior commencement speaker after her boyfriend had tried and failed the previous year. “I applied at first as a joke,” said Lally. “Sort of a, ‘let me see if I get it and am better than you, kind of thing.” She mentioned that the more she worked on her speech and application she realized how much she was actually interested in it.

Photo by Victoria Velez
A tattoo of a quote on Lally's arm.

Growing up in a small conservative town in Texas, Lally knew she wanted to go somewhere new and far away for college. Having applied to places even as far as Hawaii, Purchase captured her attention with its quirky customs and students as well as the cold weather, something new for Lally. She remembers playing in the snow with teammates after one swim practice. “You look like a little puppy experiencing their first snow,” said Lally, recalling her friends’ teasing remarks.

Lally came to Purchase as an art history major, figuring it was the perfect choice for her since it was a combination of her two favorite subjects in school. But later on, she made the decision to become a design technology major after taking a scenic painting class.

During her first semester, Lally took college writing with Professor Peter Polinski. Like most college writing course, it wasn’t the most exciting. But at one point they spoke about Friedrich Nietzsche, which caught Lally’s attention. His quote, “Live life as a work of art,” resonated with Lally so much that she now has it tattooed on her arm. To her, it meant,“Is what you’re doing what you want other people to see?” In her commencement speech she talks about how ever since that day she tries to live her life based on that motto.

Lally also plays three varsity sports: volleyball, lacrosse, and swimming. Swimming is a passion that has carried over into Lally’s work life, as she currently dresses up as a mermaid for parties and events. She got the idea after her boyfriend gifted her a mermaid tail, knowing her love for swimming and mermaids.

As a multi-sport collegiate athlete, Lally has a demanding schedule. “I’ve had a lot of all-nighters, and going straight to practice and then to class. I don’t get to sleep much,” she said, laughingly. She mentions how fortunate she is that her coaches are understanding, and work with her to make things easier.

Lally’s academic advisor, Professor Clint Ramos, spoke highly of Lally and all her achievements, “Alex is an amazing student. She is diligent, intelligent and has an open heart. I am excited for her and her future. I am looking forward to how she will apply her natural gifts and the skills she has learned at Purchase for the greater good and in service to her fellows.”

As to what she plans to do with her design technology degree, Lally mentioned that she would love to work in the film industry doing production design and exploring a recent interest in event planning. She also talked about the demands she faced in her program specifically and how she has had a lot of opportunities to explore her skills and discover what she’s capable of, like designing the President’s Christmas party, as well as the senior acting company’s  photo.

Lally was also the only senior this school year in the design technology program to design two senior projects at once. “It’s definitely been a lot especially also being in three sports and balancing meetings, but I’ve grown,” said Lally.



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