Kaia Rendo: 2023 Commencement Student Speaker


Photos courtesy of Emily Paine/Bucknell University

Hayley Leopold, Satire Co-Editor

When Kaia Rendo ’23 stepped foot on Bucknell’s campus for the first time, she immediately knew she had found her home for the next four years.

Like many others, Rendo fell in love with Bucknell’s gorgeous campus scenery. After her visit, she thought, “Yeah, this is it.”

Rendo, an Elmwood Park, N.J., native, has completed a triple major in Spanish, English – Creative Writing and Political Science. Fulfilling three majors while maintaining a near-perfect GPA is no easy task. Rendo thrived in her demanding courses as she not only over-loaded credits many semesters, but also remained active in numerous extracurricular activities.

During her time at Bucknell, Rendo worked as a Copy Editor for The Bucknellian as well as a Peer Writing Consultant for the Writing Center.

These involvements proved useful in preparing her for her future endeavors as a law student at University of Pennsylvania this fall, intending to pursue a career in either international arbitration or transactional international law. 

“Law school is going to be a lot of writing and reading, so a triple major has definitely helped me with time management, and I also think that [my activities] have helped me with reading comprehension and being able to pick things up very quickly,” Rendo said. 

When she was not editing, Rendo kept occupied by working as an Executive Intern for the office of the President, a Residential Advisor and the President of Mock Trial. 

“Working with not only other students,” she reported, “but also the upper-level faculty… has [taught] me to work with others in a way that isn’t overbearing while also being that helping hand that people trust.”

Most importantly, Rendo values the relationships that she has formed with her peers. Her most cherished Bucknell memories consist of moments with her friends, and her favorite friend group tradition has been attending various themed “murder mystery” parties.

“My roommates and I host murder mystery parties, so my friend will hand-write an entire script where everyone gets a role and… we all dress up in character and interact with each other as we try to figure out the murder mystery,” she said. “It’s been a great way to come together and also have an excuse to have fun with each other. We have our last one coming up in a few weeks, and I’m really gonna miss them.”

Rendo said four years ago, she doesn’t think she would have ever imagined the experience of being involved in a community like Bucknell. Embracing the unexpected, Rendo added, is the key to making your college experience as fulfilling as possible. 

“I never thought I would come to Bucknell, and I never thought I would be a triple major or work for the writing center,” said Rendo. “Being open to new opportunities, genuinely trying them, and being willing to go full force into something that you didn’t expect — I think that’s been the biggest part of my Bucknell experience.”

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