Academic Ceremonies - December Commencement

Harry L. Chen
Vice Chair of the University of Vermont
Board of Trustees

Harry L Chen

Good Morning. On behalf of the Board of Trustees I’d like to extend warm greetings to our graduates, their families and friends and all members of the UVM community joining us today. It is my distinct honor and pleasure to congratulate you on your achievements at the University of Vermont. December Graduation is a less hectic affair than the larger May ceremony, but it is certainly no less significant. Looking over this group, I suspect some of you are early birds and some late bloomers but the end results are the same, you made it!

I hope you take time and enjoy your success during this busy time of year. I have great optimism for your future based on what I know about UVM and the caliber of our students. Your hard work and abilities have taken you this far. You’ve shown you can achieve at a high level overcoming obstacles and setbacks that life throws at all of us.

So as you go out and face you next adventure, remember the good habits and values you acquired in your years at UVM. Stay active and healthy. The mind and body are wondrous things. You need to take care of both to reach your full potential.

Get involved and give back to the community. Wherever you go, it is your community, and you will help define its identity. No longer required for the resume, it enriches the soul; it feels good and affirms the values of your alma mater.

Stay in touch with the mentors and friends you have met at UVM. In this day of electronic social media, it’s easy to stay connected. I hope that you and your friends will support each other as you head out into the world and struggle with the challenges you inevitably will face. Don’t forget your professors. They can continue to serve as advisors and mentors long after you are gone from here. I can tell you that they love an email, call or visit from a former student.

We are here today to recognize academic success and an end to your time at UVM. But the learning never stops. Pay attention to the world around you. Cramming and pulling all-nighters may be over, at least for the time being, but in reality you can’t turn it off, so embrace it and nurture the lifetime of learning that is ahead of you. It will serve you well.

Don’t forget your roots. Your families helped get you here and get you through your years at UVM. They have been there and will continue to be there for you going forward. Don’t forget to thank them as they share in your success.

So to close, warm congratulations to the December Graduates of 2011 and your supporting cast; don’t forget to keep dreaming and to follow those dreams. An interesting and exciting future awaits you.

Enjoy, be well and good luck!

Last modified January 22 2012 10:33 AM

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