University of Vermont

Academic Ceremonies - Commencement

Ida M. Russin, President of the Staff Council

Ida Russin

Congratulations, graduates. My name is Ida Russin and as Staff Council President I am here today as a representative for all the staff who have supported you during your time at the University of Vermont. It’s important to staff, as members of this community, to join together in celebrating your achievements. Your education at UVM has prepared you well to step up to whatever challenges may come your way, so don’t be surprised if someday you find yourself in this very spot sharing some words of wisdom.

I can imagine that some of our students graduating in early childhood education programs might find themselves hosting a Commencement ceremony for their future kindergarten classes. They may be giving an inspirational address as these young learners take their next step into elementary school.

Others of you today may be moving on to graduate school, and may find yourself one day speaking at a Commencement Ceremony as a leader within a Graduate Student Senate, like my friend Jude, who spoke at yesterday’s Graduate College Commencement.

And after graduate school some of you will no doubt work toward becoming faculty in your own areas of study where you may find yourself on a platform like this, robed in fancy regalia, honoring those students you have taught, inspired, led to better lives, brighter futures, and I know in some cases, even to a healthier planet.

There is so much opportunity waiting for you all. I know that all the hard work spent toward earning your degree at UVM will serve as a strong foundation as you pursue careers that you love and where you can make a positive difference. I hope you continue to be lifelong learners who are open to new ideas and possibilities. And I hope that as you go forth you will all remember that success is not just about what you do as an individual, but what you contribute as a member of a community. The UVM community, including staff, faculty, administration, undergraduate and graduate students, have hopefully given you a sense of what may be achieved when we come together with common objectives and a vision for the future. I hope that we, as a diverse group of people, have helped you to see the importance of community in reaching your own goals. When we support one another, anything is possible. So just in case, be prepared for a commencement speech opportunity someday. On behalf of all the staff at UVM, Congratulations, Class of 2012!

Last modified June 08 2012 12:42 PM

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