December Graduates' Recognition Celebration
Welcome - Carl H. Lisman, Chair of the Board of Trustees
My name is Carl H. Lisman. I am the chair of the Board of Trustees, and it is my proud duty to congratulate you on this happy occasion.
To the undergraduates, I want to remind you that you are now part of a very small group of the world’s population — only a tiny percentage of those on the earth today have a college degree. And because you are now part of that distinguished group, you must take on the burdens (and the benefits) that your university degree confers on you.
To those of you who have earned graduate degrees, let me commend you on your diligence and perseverance. You have successfully focused your learning to become an expert in a field of your choice.
During your time here, you’ve become a part of the UVM family. And to all of you, you must know that the entire University family is proud of your accomplishments. That family encompasses lots of people.
Let’s start with the faculty. We have an excellent faculty at UVM. It is part of their job descriptions to open unseen horizons for their students, to encourage thought, to stimulate your minds. They do this because they have chosen to do this. When Sally Field accepted her Academy Award some years ago, she said, quite surprised, “they like me, they like me” — she could have been speaking about you and your professors.
Do not underestimate how proud UVM’s staffers are. They are the ones
that make everything work on this campus. Your success here is due in no small
part to them. Oftentimes they are so good at what they do that they are not
appreciated. But they’ve come to know you and they share in your joy.
Nor can you forget — not even for one minute — your classmates and all the other students at UVM. They have looked to you for all kinds of advice and guidance — and you’ve provided it. They too are indeed proud of you.
The Board of Trustees is responsible for the “entire management and control” of the University’s property and affairs. That is a significant and complex responsibility. But what it means to you can be distilled to a simple statement: Our primary goal is to ensure every student at the University receives the very best educational opportunity that we can provide.
We too are very proud of you and your accomplishments. We hope that, when you look back on your UVM experience, you’ll be able to say with certainty that you received at UVM the very best education that you could have asked for.
And, if you can, then this University will have achieved its purpose.
I am honored to be here at this time, to commend you on your success and to wish you all the best in the future.
Last modified December 27 2006 05:19 PM