Spirited student speaker wants to ‘soak it all in’

“I think WUSTL is the best place we could ever have chosen to go to school,” said senior Ryon Buchman. “I hope we can look back 10 years from now and remember everything we’ve accomplished here, because we’ve accomplished a lot.”

Appropriate words, given Buchman’s role as this year’s student Commencement speaker.

Ryon Buchman
Ryon Buchman

Buchman, treasurer of the senior class, is a candidate for bachelor’s degrees in computer science and computer engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science.

“I’ve always loved logical problem-solving,” Buchman said. “After taking some computer science courses in high school, I decided that’s what I would major in. The courses here have been fantastic.”

In fact, the Dallas native enjoyed his time at the University so much, he’s decided to stick around. He plans to complete an MBA from the John M. Olin School of Business next May.

While he loves computers, he realized in his junior year that he didn’t necessarily want to sit in front of one and program for the rest of his life. He hopes the business degree, coupled with his interest in computers, will lead to more opportunities.

“I thought that a business degree would be the perfect fit,” he said. “It will allow me to go into the project management side of computers. I think the two degrees complement each other quite well.”

This summer, Buchman plans to complete a management training internship in Jacksonville, Fla., with Citigroup Inc., a financial services company based in New York. If all goes well, he’ll continue with the company next year.

Beyond the classroom

An active student in high school, Buchman got involved in student government early in his WUSTL career.

His freshman year, he was on the council of the Rubelmann and Umrath Residential College. He’s also been involved in the Congress of the South 40; class council; and Red Alert, the student fan group for WUSTL athletics.

“Ryon is a quiet leader who truly leads by example,” said Elizabeth Williams, administrative assistant to the Dean of Students and adviser to Red Alert. “For the past three years, he has been solely responsible for creating our Red Alert calendar that is given to all incoming freshmen on move-in day.

“Ryon is a perfectionist in the best possible way,” she continued. “He expects a lot from himself and is his toughest critic, but he also doesn’t take himself too seriously. He is conscientious, dependable and caring. He is also brilliant, and I expect we’ll see great things from him in the future.”

Buchman has been involved with Residential Technology Services and the Student Technology and Resource Support program, serving as a computer technician and help desk member.

Recently, most of Buchman’s time has been focused on programs for the senior class.

“Our big goal this year has been to get the seniors together,” he said. “It’s our last year, and we’ve had a lot of great memories. We want to let everyone soak it all in before we have to say goodbye.”

The year started with a meet-and-greet barbecue and a senior trip to Memphis, Tenn. As well, several Career Center events were held to help seniors get ready for the “real world.”

The annual Senior Week May 8-15 featured a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game, a visit to Mount Pleasant Winery and the Chancellor’s Dinner followed by the Senior Gala.

It also included the Senior Transition series — programs on topics such as how to cook, how to rent an apartment and how to fix a car — to prepare students for life outside of college.

True to his Red Alert roots, Buchman is a spirited cheerleader for the University. In reflecting on his time on campus, he knows WUSTL was the right school for him.

“It was the perfect choice,” he said. “There are so many opportunities here. Anything I wanted to do, I’ve been able to get involved with. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”