Congratulations to all our students who are preparing for their commencement as the Class of Fall 2009! You are the last graduating class of the first decade of the 21st century. We’re proud of all you’ve achieved and look forward to celebrating with you at our upcoming ceremonies.
Not long ago, an alumnus from the Class of 1962 sent my office one of his old college yearbooks. Many of the fresh young student faces on those pages turned out to be familiar -people who had gone on to become members of our faculty, state legislators, business leaders, top media figures in Colorado and even members of our governing board. It was a reminder that the relationship our students have with CSU today doesn’t necessarily end when you receive your diploma. Many – we hope all – of you will stay connected and involved with our campus for many years to come.
Today, this may not be your plan. All of your good experiences at CSU might be tempered by the kind of irritations we all experience, from parking tickets to disagreements over policy decisions to the kind of frustrations aired every day in RamTalk. You are probably feeling some eagerness to finish, to be done and to move on with your life.
But as you do so, we hope you’ll also find that your education has equipped you to step out into the world and make choices that will lead you toward a fulfilling, productive life – a life that, at its end, ought to have meant something to the people and communities that were touched by it. You may or may not be able to land your dream job right out of the gate, but there are important, meaningful jobs out there that need doing, and that will help build your skills and experience move you closer to your goals. There are people and places in this world that need the talents and knowledge you have to offer. There are problems that need solving and the responsibility for solving many of them will fall to those who have had the privilege of an education. As you take on those problems, as you rise to the challenges ahead and achieve more than you ever thought possible, please know that your university takes pride in you and the difference you’re able to make for our world.
The term “commencement” is used at graduation because this is the start of a new beginning. Make the most of it, and take on your future with a sense of confidence and optimism. Then don’t forget to come back to your alma mater a few years from now to let us know how your life is unfolding.
We at CSU are proud of you and congratulations again to the Class of 2009.
Dr. Tony Frank