University of Vermont

Academic Ceremonies - Commencement

Alumni Greeting and Presentation of the
George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award
Edward E. Madden, Jr., Class of 1992,
President of the University Alumni Association

Edward E Madden Jr

Good morning and congratulations to the great class of 2011!  My name is Ted Madden and I am UVM Class of 1992 and the President of the UVM Alumni Association.  The procession into Commencement today was led by the University Marshal carrying the Ceremonial Mace, which is displayed on the platform and is always a part of formal university occasions.  There are four symbols on the Mace which are intended to symbolize UVM.  One of the four symbols is that of friendship, which is particularly fitting today.  Your Senior Week leading up to today and this Commencement occasion is one filled with nostalgia and much of it likely centered around friendships for you.  When you think of your friendships at UVM, you will naturally think of individuals, persons here at the school who enriched your lives and stay with you forever.  Many of these individuals will remain close to you....some may become roommates in the next few years as you make your way in the world and get your first job and apartment after school….some may be special enough to some day be a part of your weddings…and, if you are lucky enough, like me to have found a very special friend at UVM, you may wake up one day 19 years from now and find yourself married to that UVM friend with 4 kids, a dog and a mortgage and wonder where the time has disappeared to. 

But, I would like to take a minute to speak about another friendship, not with an individual, but rather with this place, your friendship with UVM.  Each of you has developed your own special relationship with this school, with this special place….My hope for you on this day is that you will hold the feelings of this week close to your heart in the years to come…that these feelings – a mix of pride, accomplishment, nostalgia, happiness and genuine affection for this place will fuel your friendship with UVM for years to come.  Time will loosen your binds to UVM …graduate schools, jobs, career passions, and even more importantly, spouses and children will fill your life with new and exciting challenges…but I urge you to hold tight to these feelings of today and this week…. like any great friendship, your ongoing relationship with UVM will require time if you are to get something back from it…but I can tell you from personal experience that when you return to this campus, when you engage the broader UVM community through alumni relations, all of the feelings of this week come flooding back and will enrich your lives once more….stay connected to UVM and I can assure you that you will get back a lifetime of enrichment that comes only from a deep and binding relationship….it is my pleasure to welcome you to the friendship of UVM alumni, a network of more than 90,000 and I congratulate you once more on your outstanding accomplishments of the day..

And now, it is my sincere pleasure to recognize the recipient of the George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award.

The University of Vermont Alumni Association is proud to honor Professor Stephanie Kaza of the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources as the 38th recipient of the George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award.

This award was named for Dr. George V. Kidder, UVM class of 1922 and former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, to recognize excellence in teaching and extraordinary contributions to the enrichment of campus life.

Professor Kaza is now entering her third decade as a faculty member at the University of Vermont. A nationally noted scholar of Buddhism and ecology and currently Director of the Environmental Program, she has deepened and refined our understanding of the lines of connection between environmental problem solving and other realms of human activity, including economics, the ecological sciences, and electoral politics. As the founder and first faculty co-chair of the University’s Environmental Council, she has been a central figure in advocating for campus sustainability initiatives to reduce waste, conserve energy, and promote environmental values — efforts that have contributed significantly to UVM’s national reputation for environmental leadership.

But it is her special gift for teaching — in the classroom and beyond — that inspires and remains with her students, shapes them as thinking and responsible participants in the world around them, and leads us with thanks and admiration to bestow this honor on Professor Kaza today.

For all she has contributed to the lives of his students and to the University of Vermont, on behalf of the Alumni Association, I invite you to join me in recognizing Professor Stephanie Kaza as the recipient of the George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award for 2011.

Last modified June 24 2011 03:03 PM

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