December Graduates Recognition Celebration
December 18, 2004
Ira Allen Chapel
The Honorable Martha P. Heath
Vice Chair of the University of Vermont Board of Trustees
Good morning. I’m honored to join you today to offer my own congratulations and those of my colleagues on the University of Vermont Board of Trustees. What a wonderful place this is to celebrate a graduation, in this beautiful chapel that has hosted so many campus events over the better part of the last century. You can feel the history in this space, but even Ira Allen Chapel is a relative newcomer at an institution with a history as rich and deep as the University of Vermont’s. Today you become a part of that history, joining the long line of graduates whose names are woven into the fabric of our university.
Moments such as these are causes for celebration and deep pride. As I look out at your faces, I’m taken back to my own feelings from that day in 1969 when I graduated from UVM. I remember the joy of knowing that my last exam had been taken and that I was about to embark on the next step in my life’s journey. I also remember the pride, the pride in my own accomplishment and the pride that I knew my parents felt as I became the first member of their families to receive a college degree.
Last spring, thirty-five years after my own graduation, I felt another kind of pride as one of my daughters, Elise, received her own degree from the University of Vermont. The pride a mother feels in the accomplishments of her children is immense. It was a special day and a memory I will treasure forever.
At Elise’s graduation and today, I felt and feel another level of pride that goes beyond pride in myself or in my family. It is the pride I feel as a state legislator and as a trustee of the university and that is the pride in this institution and its work. There can be no better evidence of the quality of UVM in 2004 than you, the graduates before us today. As you go forth to pursue your lives and careers, the positive differences that you make in this world will be further proof of the proud tradition of our university. I wish you all the best as you pursue your dreams.
Now it’s my privilege to pass the podium to our next speaker for today’s graduation address. Next month will mark the third anniversary of the day that our Board of Trustees introduced the 25th president of the University of Vermont. To quote the words that then Board chair Bruce Lisman used that morning to describe UVM’s new top executive: “He is the right person at the right time for our university”.
Little did we know just how right Bruce’s words would prove to be. President Daniel Mark Fogel has ushered in a new era of leadership and optimism on this campus. Ever eager to move ahead, President Fogel detailed his ten-year vision for UVM long before his formal inauguration as president. It’s a vision that has at its heart this simply stated but highly ambitious goal—making the University of Vermont the nation’s premier small public research university. President Fogel has led us in making tremendous progress toward that aspiration in the past three years, a trend that shows every sign of continuing.
It’s my honor to introduce to you Daniel Mark Fogel, president of the University of Vermont.
Last modified December 22 2004 07:23 AM