Graduation 2020: It's Time to Redefine the Bases

Krista Gypton · May 27, 2020

This past Memorial Day was the first time in 140 years that the day came and went without a major league baseball game. That’s not a typo: 140 years. Prior to this, MLB on Memorial Day had survived both World Wars, labor strikes, and even the Great Depression. The Memorial Day baseball game has been host to amazing comeback wins, strange mid-game trades, and even hosted Babe Ruth’s final major league game of his career. It has been a staple in American history and a prime example of human resilience and fortitude.


Major league players had this momentous weekend come and go without much pomp and circumstance. In a heartbreaking parallel, seniors from around the country have been facing their graduation celebrations in the same way. Can you imagine starting your year with the belief that you would be heading for home plate right now, sliding in for that winning score, and, instead, you were asked to leave the field?


Although there has been a great loss and, at times, it can be challenging to see hope, there has been a surge of creativity and innovation that has turned the seemingly much of what could have been tragic into...magic. The current reality has helped us reimagine and recreate traditions. It’s been an opportunity to recognize that times of trial give us the chance to sharpen our character and come out stronger on the other side.


At CharacterStrong, we recognize that these times have not been easy and that it’s ok to grieve the loss that surrounds us. We also recognize that loss can provide gaps for new normals to shine through; to redefine what “should have been” and choose a new path. So, to honor the Class of 2020 and what they are currently navigating, we would like to share this message with you from CharacterStrong’s co-founder, Houston Kraft. In his graduation speech, he challenges us to see the present as an unprecedented chance to reinvent the game, ask big questions, and act like his 3 year old cousin might...


WATCH the graduation speech here.



Krista Gypton

Krista Gypton taught for 19 years and has received numerous awards for her teaching and student community service, including the 2008 Arizona Teacher of the Year Ambassador for Excellence. She is an emphatic believer in the power of service to others and has traveled as far as South Africa with students to give back. She has been a keynote speaker and trainer for the past 11 years, both nationally and internationally.