The Andie Summers Show

What an incredible honor! Andie Summers Commencement Address at Immaculata on Mother’s Day, 2023, will be remembered for these graduates as they step into their professional careers.

Andie CMA

We Love Andie Summers!

She did an amazing job on her speech, you can read it here and see the video below.

Here’s Andie Summers Commencement Address

Good afternoon, faculty and staff, family and friends, and most importantly, the graduating class of 2023.

Congratulations! Thank you for allowing me to share this milestone with you. I am honored and humbled to be here today. 

I recently came across a quote from one of the wisest women I know and it stayed with me: 

If you see someone without a smile, 

give them one of yours.

-Dolly Parton

I love Dolly. I’m a radio personality on the greatest country music radio station in the world. So, you might recognize my voice. I’ve been the voice you hear in the morning on 92.5 XTU for 24 years and when people ask me how or why I’ve stayed in one place for so long, the answer is always the same … you.  The listeners. 

Country music fans are genuine and loyal and they helped raise me. The listeners at XTU, who we lovingly refer to as “XTUNation,” have not just watched, but helped guide me through so many milestones in my life:

-My engagement and wedding to my husband Leonard.

-Having babies – and lord knows I’ve needed their advice on raising Tori and Leonard the third

They’ve also heard a lifetime of stories about my own mom and dad as well as my sisters, Debbie and Sandi. All of whom are here today … 

As I stand here today, I can honestly say I am who I am because of the family I grew up with, the family I created, and my XTU family. And for you all I am forever grateful.

As I was preparing for today, I was thinking about what it would be like to go back to school now. Woof. That’s a thing you did, graduates. 

Nothing worth having comes easy. 

-Theodore Roosevelt 

And this could not have been easy. Many of you are juggling a household, family, work, and your own studies on top of it all. I’m sure there were moments when you thought about giving up. But you didn’t – and look at you now! 

You have so much to be proud of – and you’re an inspiration to everyone here. 

-Your family and friends. 

-Your spouse or partner. 

-You are the example your kids are going to live up to and you just raised the bar.

What you do has far greater impact than what you say.

-Steven Covey

Today I’m going to share with you a few stories that led me here to this podium, as an honorary doctorate recipient of the graduating class of 2023. 

These stories include a blood letting, a baby, and Mr. Rogers. 

I attended college as a traditional student, right out of high school, completely unaware of anything outside of the safe little bubble I grew up in. 

It was a shock – and not one that I handled with grace, I’m afraid to say. I found a new me – and she was a hot mess, but she had a blast. 

When I look back at that time in my life, there’s a lot of cringing, but one thing I am proud of is my commitment to service. And my earliest examples are my parents.  

When I was growing up, there wasn’t a school activity or sporting event that my mom and dad didn’t just attend, but took part in. I have heart-warming memories of spending recess in the elementary school office, helping my mom who volunteered there. I got to use the ditto machine and that made me feel grown-up. 

To continue to date myself – we had a landline growing up and back then it didn’t have caller-ID. Remember the days when the phone rang and everyone in the house would get excited? 

Well, when our avocado-colored phone, hanging on the wall in the kitchen rang back then, my older sisters would claw at each other to answer, but every now and again I was lucky enough to get to the phone first – and every month or two it would be the Red Cross calling to tell my dad it’s time to donate blood. 

I remember my dad coming home from work on blood drive days, with the cotton ball taped to his arm. It seemed horrific to me, to knowingly extract your blood. So, one day I asked my dad why he does it. His reply was only two words. Why not

For those of you who knew him, that was my dad in a nutshell. It’s that simple. You can, so you do. Why not?

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

-Father James Keller

Fast forward about a decade to the hot-mess I was in college. There’s a lot packed in those four years that I’d like to do-over, but like Leonard and I tell our kids – if you’re not falling, you’re not learning. And there were many lessons to learn from my failures.

My freshman year in college, my sister Sandi had been dating a guy named Jack – and he finally popped the question. We were elated. Sandi drove out to my college to pick me up so we could celebrate her engagement with the family. 

But we never made it home.  

It was October in northeastern Pennsylvania. The trees were changing and it was a beautiful day for a drive. Sandi and I were traveling on a winding country road, giddy with excitement and chatting about her wedding. The flowers, her colors, the gown. 

Suddenly, we saw a car in front of us … facing us – on our side of the road. It was heading right toward us. 

With a line of oncoming cars in the lane to our left, and a split-rail fence to our right, we had nowhere to go. 

Sandi tried to stop. 

The car we were in left about 50 feet of skid marks leading up to the point of collision. And another 10 feet back. 

The other guy never hit the brake.

It was bad. The other driver – drunk – was killed in the collision. Sandi and I survived, though not unscathed, and I’m so proud that she’s here today.

But, the thing about that crash that fills my soul with love and gratitude are the people who stopped to help. One woman got a blanket from her car and wrapped it around my shivering body – that was the shock setting in. 

And there were two young men who handled directing traffic until police arrived. They even visited us in the hospital after the crash. 

It’s just incredibly selfless to me that complete strangers would help like that. But then I remembered what my dad said. Why not? 

I’m sure those good Samaritans have no idea the influence they had on my life. They were just doing what they do. 

The accident took me out of school for several weeks to recover, but when I got back, I joined a service fraternity – Alpha Phi Omega – as my way of giving back.

The best way to find yourself …

is to lose yourself in service to others. 

-Mahatma Gandhi

Now I’m a mom – and still the hot mess I was in college – but I do my best. When our oldest was born – Tori – I really struggled with the decision to go back to work. I felt incredibly selfish and thought my place was at home with our daughter – even though my heart yearned to get back on the radio. 

My friend Tina had given me a prayer board, I have it hanging next to my bed, and it says: When life gives you more than you can stand … kneel. And so I did. I prayed and prayed for a sign so I would make the right decision.

And one day, on my knees, it all came flooding back to me. All of those beautiful examples of service I witnessed that had a profound influence on me. 

That day I made the promise that if I was going to leave my kids and go work, then I would commit to making a positive impact on someone’s life every single day.

Service is what prayer looks like when it gets up off its knees and walks around the world.

-Father Michael Graham

Amen.  Graduates, think for a minute about the people who helped get you here. Maybe it was a word of encouragement from a teacher or colleague. Maybe it was a friend or neighbor who helped carpool so you could study or attend class. 

Always look for the helpers. That’s what I learned from Mr. Rogers, who I like to say is the Patron Saint of The Andie Summers Show.  

Mr. Rogers was my tv-babysitter when I was growing up, but he taught me so many lessons, so when we had kids and my husband started to travel, I used Mr. Rogers to occupy Tori and Leonard before bed. His show gave me 28-minutes to clean up from dinner, do the dishes, and get everything ready the next day, to make it easier on the babysitter who was coming at 4am. 

Shout out to the babysitters, by the way. These women were my co-parents when I needed them most. 

Little did I know that I continued to learn life lessons from Mr. Rogers … You see, when Fred Rogers was young and saw something upsetting on the news, his mother taught him to look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. 

As a radio personality, my job isn’t to report the news – not when you get everything you need from your phone.  My job is to feel the news as our listeners do, and then put it into words so they know they’re not alone. 

I was on the air when those planes flew into the towers on 9/11. 

I grieved with our audience who lost loved ones in Las Vegas at the Harvest 91 mass shooting. 

We’ve cried together through school shootings and natural disasters.

But, as horrible as each of these instances is, I never lost sight of the helpers. The folks who run toward the chaos instead of away. From first responders to the average joes who help to usher others out of harm’s way. 

Or offer a blanket to a crash victim … Or donate blood. 

Graduates, I’m sure you wouldn’t be here today without your helpers. Let’s give them a round of applause. Let’s hear it for our helpers! 

 Graduates, you did it. The work is finished. Degree in hand! The thing that’s been your purpose for so long is done. You’re ready to put your knowledge and experience to work – and that’s great! 

But, what’s next? What is going to fill the space that had been occupied with classes and studying?  

Because, you know the work isn’t really over. 

Life is like owning a house – there’s always a project to work on. 

Self help author Steve Pavlina said: Hard work is painful when life is devoid of purpose. But when you live for something greater than yourself and the gratification of your own ego, then hard work becomes a labor of love. 

Graduates, you’ve already made an incredible impact on those around you, and all eyes are on you to see what you do next. 

I would suggest you fill the space with …

  • something that will give you a new perspective. 
  • Something that will increase your sense of community and belonging. 
  • Something that is proven to make you happier …

Service to others. It’s as easy as Dolly told us:

If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.


  • Wow!! She Crushed It!!

    Take these lessons with you! Some good ones to hold on to. Andie starts at the 15:00 mark!

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