Goodbye to the Class of 2018

This week we reach a moment of joy in the academic calendar, and one of extraordinary significance to those of us who earn our livelihoods at the University and those students who choose to build their learning and lives on our foundations.  Tomorrow we reach Commencement, a wonderful celebration and event, for us all.  The Class of 2018 leaves and its graduates will hold 170 diplomas for the Associates degrees, 371 diplomas for those with Baccalaureate degrees, 16 diplomas for those with Masters degrees and 11 diplomas to those with Certificates.

I have often talked about our hybrid mission and our blended function.  The success of that mission is visible this week, in the varieties of credentials, disciplines and diversity of students who will walk the stage and take their learning forward into society and within their lives.

I thank every faculty member who has taught our graduates.  You have left an inestimable influence on our students, and have given them a priceless gift and a tangible asset that is bestowed through education.  Thank you for building their lives, their livelihoods and our University through your teaching and scholarship.  I thank every staff member who has worked so hard to give our graduates the support they needed every day to succeed, and for creating a learning environment that truly inspired and supported that success.

Many graduates at this Class of 2018 Commencement started learning at our University when it had a different mission, a different name, and a different face and place.  They have adapted to change, and now they leave with a University diploma that honors their educational accomplishment, their capacity to adapt and their hope for the future.

Shortly we welcome the arriving Class of 2022 after the summer holidays.  We must work hard to ensure they arrive registered for classes in August and that we are prepared to welcome back our current students.  But for now we each deserve some respite and rest, with the satisfaction of knowing this week that we can justly celebrate the fruits of our labors at our Commencement exercises.

Thank you each for bringing the Class of 2018 to this happy point of success and departure from our University.