Ceremonial Events - Commencement
Greeting: Carl H. Lisman, Chair of
the Board of Trustees
Good morning. On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire University community, I am honored and pleased to extend our hearty congratulations to the Class of 2007!
Those of you who will be receiving degrees join a long line of degree-recipients going back more than 200 years - to 1804, in fact, when the University’s first graduating class was honored - all four of them. The Class of 2007 numbers more than 2000[?]. This is not, as we all know, an example of quantity over quality. To the contrary. The Class of 2007 has had the benefit of more than 1,200 faculty. The Class of 1804 had the benefit of one faculty member; he served not only as the only educator, but was also the University’s President, Burlington’s town preacher and the man who help to clear the original University parcel so that a single building could be built to house the entire University.
Today’s graduates have been enrolled in eight colleges and two schools, offering hundreds of academic majors and minors. Compared to the Class of 1804, 1904 or 2004, you’ve had a significantly greater opportunity to learn in the classroom, in the laboratory and in the field. And we are very proud of your accomplishments.
Today, all of the events and ceremonies will recognize your successes. But we would be remiss if we did not take a moment to recognize that you graduates have not earned your degrees in a vacuum.
There are others to be commended.
Foremost would be your parents, spouses and children. Without their significant financial support, their encouragement and their sacrifices, many of you would not be here today.
In a similar vein would be the 1,200-plus faculty members of this University, whose commitment to educating is unwavering - whether in large lecture halls, laboratories and seminars; by individual mentoring, by advising and by working with clubs and other student groups. They do what they do because they are dedicated to an ideal - to improve humankind through education. Without their dedication, support and encouragement, many of you would not be here today.
Next would be the administration of the University. A University cannot operate with an entire cadre of supporters. From the University’s President and senior administrators through the entire ranks of administrators and staff, are here to to ensure that our students receive the very best that they can muster. Without their commitment to this institution and its students, many of you would not be here today.
The best news is, of course, that you are here - graduates; parents, spouses and children; faculty; administration and staff.
The Board of Trustees is charged with the full legal responsibility
and authority for University, including its entire management and the control
of its property and affairs. Among other subjects, we wrangle over budgets,
agonize over decisions to grow the campus, work with the Faculty Senate on curricular
matters, and encourage the University’s reach
throughout the State and beyond.
Why do we do it? Because every spring we have the opportunity to dress up in academic regalia to participate in a tradition that has been centuries in the making - to recognize and honor the graduating class.
We’re proud of your accomplishments at UVM, and we know that this is just the beginning for all of you. Congratulations and good luck.