University of Vermont

Academic Ceremonies - Commencement

Greeting - James H Douglas Governor of the State of Vermont

James H. Douglas,
Governor of the State of Vermont

Governor Douglas

Good morning, everyone.  Welcome, Class of 2010!!  A special welcome to Secretary Shinseki.  Vermont has more National Guardsmen now in Afghanistan than any other state.  I met three of them last night as they arrived home on leave.  One soldier introduced me to his 5 1/2 month old son, whom he was meeting for the first time.  We’re proud of them all as they serve us far from home.

Graduates, this is your day.  Your degree is your accomplishment, but it’s the result of the dreams of a lot of people who came before you.  Now you have a responsibility to carry that effort forward in ways that work for you.  There will be a time, not long from now, when you will see an opportunity to do some good without credit, payment or even acknowledgement, but just because it’s the right thing to do.  Take responsibility for something bigger than yourself.  That’s the real meaning of an education:  to take you out of yourself and into the world.

Today, Vermont needs your skills more than ever.  You may be aware that our state is growing older – we are the second oldest state in the nation.  We have taken steps to be competitive.  Our success, however, will depend on you. 

Vermont can be a place where talented young people like you can find - or maybe even create -  good-paying jobs and take advantage of our unparalleled quality of life.  If your plans take you elsewhere, I hope you will use what you have learned here to improve the lives of others and I hope you will return to the Green Mountain State to live, work and raise your families in the near future. 

Congratulations and best of luck to you all!

Last modified July 11 2010 07:10 PM

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