Chancellor DiStefano’s 2013 Spring Commencement Address
Graduates, members of the Board of Regents, President Benson, members of the faculty and staff, parents, distinguished guests, family and friends; it is my pleasure and honor to have the opportunity to address you today as the chancellor of the University of Colorado Boulder.
I know today’s graduates join me in extending a special welcome to their family and friends, whose love and support have helped to make this day possible. Please join me in showing our appreciation.
With us today, are many members of the faculty who have guided and mentored these graduates. They have shared their time, knowledge and expertise to help each student reach this important milestone and his or her full potential. Will representatives of the faculty please rise and be recognized?
Graduates, congratulations! Your hard work has brought you to this day. But your work is not done. In fact, it is only beginning. The University Seal you will soon see stamped on your diploma depicts a torch in the hands of youth with a Greek inscription that reads: “Let Your Light Shine.”
At the University of Colorado Boulder we have been your vehicle for personal growth that will take you unimagined places in your life. In your academic career at CU-Boulder you have learned valuable lessons in critical thinking, civil discourse, collaborative decision-making and creative solutions, skills that are admired by employers and essential in a complex society.
Personal growth is learning to work collaboratively; learning to work across disciplines. It’s the teamwork and real-world experience students learn in their undergraduate research programs where they may control satellites in space, work on biomedical advancements, make films and produce works of art that inspire us.
Personal growth is the innovation and entrepreneurship inherent in your education at CU, and in your student-led sustainability initiatives that have earned CU-Boulder the moniker, “The Greenest University in America.”
We see personal growth in the 13,0000 students who participate in community service every year. Service-oriented students become service-oriented global citizens. So it’s no surprise that CU-Boulder alumni, whose ranks you are about to join, have been leaders in Peace Corps service since its inception in 1961.
Your personal transformation—from high school senior to college graduate—prepared you for a life of career and contribution. We live in a fast-paced, digitized world. But the real lessons come more slowly, over time. You cannot download the transformation of a young person. Your parents know that important transformation takes time, and care, and you are testimony to that fact.
I take pride that you are challenged at CU to develop positive personal growth that will remain with you for life. This growth transforms you, your community and indeed the world.
Congratulations. You have earned it. Hold your light high, and lead the way.