Each student participating in Commencement has accomplished much and grown significantly during his or her time on campus.
David A. Ross, president of the senior class, hopes to help students focus on just how far they’ve come when he delivers the student speech at the 148th Commencement in Brookings Quadrangle.
“We have all been blessed with a great educational experience,” Ross said. “I think we all need to consider how we can share that knowledge with others, no matter what profession we may choose. As we leave this institution, we have a great opportunity to use what we’ve learned here to positively impact other people.”
The Miami native majored in healthcare management and finance with a minor in biology. He plans to attend medical school in the fall and is choosing among several schools.
His interest in medicine led him to volunteer at several different organizations during his time at the University, including the student-run South St. Louis Diabetes Research Project and at Kids Place, which offers nutrition and mentoring for at-risk children at no cost to families.
Fluent in Spanish, Ross also volunteered with La Clinica, a St. Louis health center that strives to improve the quality of life for the diverse communities it serves by providing high-quality and accessible health care.
Ross checked in patients, screened for symptoms and served as translator for patients and physicians.
“Over David’s four years, he has been a most responsive and responsible student leader,” said Jill Carnaghi, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for students and dean of campus life. “David has the ability to listen to his peers and work with class officers and various University entities to successfully plan and implement diverse programs and events that have brought members of the 2009 class together.”
Ross has been president of the class each of his four years. During his senior year, he has focused much of his time on programming aimed at helping seniors transition to life after college.
“We partnered with the young alumni group for mixers and presentations on how to live life outside the University,” Ross said. “We also hosted a personal financial seminar.”
When he isn’t studying, helping with student government or volunteering, Ross enjoys running and painting and plays on WUSTL’s club roller hockey team.
He also co-owned and ran the South 40 video store for two years. “We worked on a good business plan and really turned the store around,” he said. “When we took it over they were still renting VHS tapes. We transitioned to DVDs and had good success.”
He passed the store on to another student after his sophomore year.
A member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity and Order of Omega National Greek Honorary, Ross participated in the Mr. Wash U competition during his freshman year, helping to raise funds for City Faces, a local nonprofit art program for at-risk children.
Ross said he has had an excellent experience at the University. “I’ve absolutely loved my time here,” he said. “The premed classes have been challenging, but I’ve enjoyed every one. I’ve especially liked the healthcare management major. The faculty and staff here have been incredibly helpful.”