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Apr-21-2010 17:00printcomments

Katie Washington 2010 Notre Dame Valedictorian

Katie also directs the Notre Dame Voices of Gospel Choir, Reminds me of a song by Jackie Wilson, “Higher & Higher”...

Katie Washington 2010 Notre Dame Valedictorian
Katie Washington 2010 Notre Dame Valedictorian

(NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY) - A poem from our friend Lucas Easter about the amazing achievements of a young African American woman blazing trails in new territory, is a reminder of the positive strides being taken in America.

Katie Washington, the 2010 Notre Dame Valedictorian, should have a place in every American's heart.

In a broken and damaged time, she represents all that is right about our system, while helping us recognize the achievements of those gifted few who find their way.

Katie Washington 2010 Notre Dame Valedictorian

What is in a university with a prestigious Catholic name?
Whoa! Quite a bit of you are speaking about Notre Dame,
A football powerhouse with academics not to be undone,
And this year the valedictorian is Miss Katie Washington.

Ah what’s so special? Colleges graduate a brain every year,
Yeah, however this is a never before occurrence do you hear?
It’s that this time numero uno is a female African American,
Next is Johns Hopkins where her medical career will begin.

Baseball is normally the big news talked about every spring,
Which ones, Yankees or the Red Sox, these kinds of things,
Cy Young, MVP, home run king, no hitters, will have to wait,
This accomplishment can’t be concealed behind home plate.

For 161 years this university has been awarding degrees,
Now history is being made thanks to this racial minority.
Yet only in her race because in smarts she is at the top,
As we used to say on the farm, “the cream of the crop.”

Majoring in Biology w/a minor in Catholic Teaching 4.0 GPA,
Hailing from Gary Indiana, just a hop, skip and a jump away,
The valedictory address during Commencement exercises,
Proudly presented probably with tears in her parents' eyes.

She’s conducted lung cancer research & genetic studies,
Along with Professor David Severson her research buddy,
Co-authoring a paper plus her work for Global Health now,
On the mosquito that carries dengue & yellow fever. Wow!

Katie also directs the Notre Dame Voices of Gospel Choir,
Reminds me of a song by Jackie Wilson, “Higher & Higher,”
Mentor/tutor at a South Bend school helping others learn,
And student coordinator of the Center for Social Concerns.

“Lives in the Balance: Youth Violence and Society Seminar.”
Ha! She sounds more like an angel from some distant star.
Whatever galaxy, it cannot be brighter than your future here,
Mucho congratulations for everything accomplished my dear.

By Luke Easter


Luke Easter is a poet who writes about things that are very close to the heart of Another former U.S. Marine, Luke explained what drives him to try to heal the world with an approach that reaches people on a different level, one known for centuries, yet too often forgotten in the one we live in.

We live in a world of social & economic injustice. The main reason for founding America in the first place was to relieve the oppression of the King of England. Patrick Henry said it best, “give me liberty or give me death.” And yet, all too often death seems to be the only way out. Why is there such a high suicide rate especially among teens, in the land of the free & the home of the brave? What makes headlines? Good news? Ha! More depressing stories than anything else. I feel poetry takes an edge off the hurt of bad news while still delivering it but in a, “glitzy” sort of way. Giving a different perspective. Kind of like slap in the face as opposed to a knife in the back. At least with the slap you’ll live to see another day and you will know whom it’s from. I wasn’t here for the beginning of the world but at 59, I just might be here for the end.

Even though it’s still a knife, rhyme poetry helps to dull the blade. And that’s my job. You can write to Luke Easter at:

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Donna April 29, 2010 6:37 am (Pacific time)

This is the best news I've heard lately. Finally something positive. Bless you Katie - keep on keeping on!

Luke Easter April 26, 2010 12:41 pm (Pacific time)

Daughter almost wants to follow in father’s footsteps, a Gary Ind. MD, Almost? Only because Katie wants a joint M.D./Ph.D. what and not 3?, I am no where near doctor material but this diagnosis is easy to see, She has an incurable disease, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Brother Mark is at the Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee, (The whole family’s infected) and on the verge of completeing his residency, Mother Jean and sister Terry hold the title of nurse, brother Vincent’s at BP, This came after honorably serving his county in the, “United States Navy.”

Jean Tomlin April 24, 2010 4:16 am (Pacific time)

Mr. Easter, Thank you for your focus, upbeat style, and thoughtful, endearing poem,which I'm sure Katie will 'admire' along with Jackie Wilson's song, "Higher and Higher".I love you, and may God continue to richly bless your creative writing skills. You inspire me, as well.Mom

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