Commencement Address Spring 2018
Graduating students, University colleagues, and most especially, families and friends — Welcome to UT Dallas. Before I begin, I want to also acknowledge those who are watching online. Welcome to you too!
To everyone here in person or in spirit, thank you for partaking in this special day for UT Dallas students. It is our goal to make this a singular day — one that you will forever remember with fondness. This spring, we have certified:
- 2,393 bachelor’s degrees;
- 2,090 master’s degrees;
- 99 doctoral degrees; and
- 8 audiology degrees.
Congratulations to you all!
You have the added distinction of being a member of UT Dallas’ largest graduating class. In fact, the Class of 2018 is so large that we are holding 10 ceremonies over three days. You, luckily, only have to hear my remarks once. Members of our stage party are not so fortunate. Each student whose name will be announced during this ceremony has found support and encouragement from many sources:
- From our world-class faculty,
- From our attentive staff, and, most especially,
- From family members and friends.
Many are with you today to share in your celebration. This is also a day when you earn a new title. You can proudly call yourself a graduate of UT Dallas. That is an honor that you share with over 100,000 alumni around the world.
Winning awards or earning coveted internships are important. But so is the work you’ve done as a volunteer, a mentor, a scholar. Our students are recognized nationally — in a variety of arenas and for a variety of reasons. Among our graduates are many
- Who mentored their peers or helped schoolchildren in the community;
- Who tutored senior citizens;
- Who tended the community gardens;
- Who volunteered at local agencies; and
- Who competed across the country in the athletic arena.
More than a few of you managed to raise families and hold down jobs while fulfilling the requirements to be seated here today. Many of you have worked hard to graduate with minimal or no debt. I applaud your determination to balance being a student with having a life outside of the classroom and laboratory. What will you miss about your time at UT Dallas? What made it worth leaving the comfort of your home or your residence hall to show up? Was it engaging with others, maybe over a cup of coffee or interacting with your professors in the classroom?
Regardless of what you would say you will miss most about UTD, please know that we will miss you. Each of you has contributed to more than our growth. Your impact has been felt beyond our campus boundaries. So … Congratulations, Comets! We are proud of you. Enjoy this special day and all that comes after.