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 Madden Jr

Good morning and congratulations to the great class of 2012! My name is Ted Madden and 20 years ago this weekend, I sat where you sit as part of the UVM Class of 1992 and I am privileged now to serve all of you as the President of the UVM Alumni Association.

This is a happy time and worthy of great celebration. You have worked hard and accomplished much. Your years at UVM have been filled with great moments, with 100 things to do before you graduate, with classes, clubs, activities and athletics that have enlightened you and brought you enjoyment, you have developed an incredible social life and network, while enjoying this great campus, Burlington, the lake, and the mountains. Most importantly you have made friendships to last a lifetime, not just with the people surrounding you today, your classmates, but with this special place, with UVM. UVM is a part of all of us who went to school here…it has shaped us and like any great friendship, we are better for having that relationship.

In many respects, from here, life will grow unquestionably more complicated with the new demands of a career, and for many of you those of beginning a new family.Time will become your greatest challenge and stresses will seem to grow as you grow older. Balancing how to be a great spouse and parent with a growing career will be challenging.

So with that in mind, it may seem strange to say what I am about to say, but make time for UVM in your future. Like any great friendship, you must give it time for it to grow, but like any great friendship, you will get much more in return than what you give. For you see, the moments of this week, the great feelings of contentment, pride, friendship and attachment that you feel for this place and to the people surrounding you today, all come back to you when you re-connect with UVM in your future years, so whether you attend a UVM event, attend your 0 Reunion in October, or come back to Burlington at any other time, make time for UVM and it will reward you with the renewed sense of community you feel today. Let this great University be an anchor of contentment for you in the busy years that await you.

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the friendship of UVM alumni, a network of nearly 100,000 worldwide. You are the pride and the future of our Alumni Association. You now share in the responsibility of ensuring that our school remains the special place that it is, for only with the full support of a vibrant alumni community in time, talent and treasure, can our school reach its greatest potential. I congratulate you once more on your outstanding accomplishments of the day, and I urge you, as you meet with success in the future — and I know you will — don’t forget to give back to your alma mater. And I fully expect to look forward 20 years from now, and find one of you will be standing in this spot congratulating the graduating Class of 2032 as the President of the UVM Alumni Association.

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 Luis Vivanco as the 39th 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.

Luis VivancoProfessor Vivanco now joins the select group of UVM faculty recognized over the years for bringing these qualities and abilities to bear, first and foremost in the classroom, but also in the real world where people live, learn, and pass their knowledge on to successive generations.

Luis came to UVM in 1997 as a New England Board of Higher Education Dissertation Write-up Fellow, having earned his A.B. in Religion from Dartmouth College in 1991 and his M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Princeton University in 1995. His Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology was also awarded from Princeton, in 1999. After toiling at those lesser institutions of Dartmouth and Princeton, Luis saw the light and he was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UVM in 1999 and was awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in 2005. He has been director of the Global and Regional Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences since 2007 and Founding Director of its Global Studies major since 2009.

Professor Vivanco’s scholarship focuses primarily on the cultural and political aspects of "saving nature" in Costa Rica and Mexico. His research explores how the meanings of nature and social change are debated, negotiated, imposed, and resisted in the context of environmental and indigenous social movements, ecotourism, and sustainable development.

He is a widely published author of books and articles in scholarly journals and a sought-after speaker at academic conferences and symposia nationally and internationally.

He has received a number of prestigious awards to support his ethnographic research, including Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, MacArthur Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and the New England Board of Higher Education.

Luis teaches a variety of courses for the Anthropology Department, and in 2006, he co-led UVM's first semester study abroad program in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Above all, it is his gift for teaching that inspires and motivates his students and brings us here to honor Professor Vivanco today.

For all he 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 Luis Vivanco as the recipient of the George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award for 2012.

Last modified June 08 2012 01:09 PM

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