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Friday, September 3, 2010

UMD Convocation Speech 2010 to Campus

Friday, September 3, 2010
1 p.m., Romano Gymnasium

Thank you, Victor, for the kind introduction. It is great to be at UMD.

Now it's my turn to welcome all of you to UMD! And I would like to ask my colleagues who are here to raise their arms and wave when introduced.

The faculty, staff and students of CLA welcome you! (Faculty, staff and RockStars from CLA raise their arms and wave.)

The faculty, staff and students of SFA welcome you! (Faculty, Staff and RockStars from SFA raise their arms and wave.)

The faculty, staff and students of LSBE welcome you! (Faculty, Staff and RockStars from LSBE raise their arms and wave.)

The faculty, staff and students of SCSE welcome you! (Faculty, Staff and RockStars from SCSE raise their arms and wave.)

The faculty, staff and students of CEHSP welcome you! (Faculty, Staff and RockStars from CEHSP raise their arms and wave.)

The faculty, staff and students of UMD's graduate and professional programs welcome you! (Faculty, Staff and RockStars from graduate and professional programs raise their arms and wave.)

The staff and students of Finance and Operations welcome you! (Staff and RockStars from VCFO raise their arms and wave).

The faculty, staff and students of Academic Support and Student Life welcome you! (Faculty, Staff from ASSL and all RockStars raise their arms and wave.)

The faculty, staff, and students of Academic Administration welcome you! (Staff and RockStars from VCAA raise their arms and wave).

The staff and student leaders of University Relations and Development welcome you! (Staff and RockStars from UR raise their arms and wave).

Today, you begin your UMD education. Today, you are on your way to graduation. All of you received tassels when you entered the gym. Put the tassel up in your new room or in another prominent place that will remind you of your goal. You are here to get an education, and we are here to help you succeed!

As you go forward at UMD, you will have opportunities to think carefully, to engage, and to wrestle with ethical problems. You will learn new things that will help you make increasingly informed choices as you work with others in your field.

You are joining a community where we value ethical thinking and interacting with others with integrity. All of us at UMD strive to be truthful, to be just, and to be caring. We show care and concern for individuals, relationships and the environment that make up this community.

At UMD, you will find new possibilities. You will learn about cultures different from your own. You will be able to use that learning, and all that knowledge, and all those new ways of thinking, as you move forward to changing the world. As a college student, there are many opportunities available. Plan on studying abroad. Start thinking about working on an undergraduate research project with a faculty member. Explore new areas of interest.

I'm sure many of you aren't sure about your major. You advisor will help you. Staff in the college offices will help. Your peer advisors will help you. Many resources are available in the Career Services office. The most recent survey that Career Services staff did of the UMD Class of 2009 shows that 70 percent are employed, with another 19 percent continuing their education after graduating. Research shows that on average, a college graduate earns more than 50 percent compared to others who have a high school degree.

Get involved! You have learned - and will be learning more - about all of the student organizations on campus. Joining an organization will help you to serve the campus community, to learn about your academic field, and to meet new friends.

While I'm telling you to get involved, I'm also reminding you that you need to study. I know that many of you have jobs. You will need to manage your time carefully. It will soon feel overwhelming to make time for everything. Look at your schedule now, and find time 25-30 hours each week to read, to study, to learn, and to prepare for your classroom learning. The UMD Library is an amazing place where you can find comfortable space to study alone or as a group. Claim your space in the library! Many students spend time in the library and return several times each week to "their" special spot.

If you need help, seek it out. Talk with the faculty and the staff members. They are interesting people, and they want to get to know you. They want you to succeed. They will help you solve problems so that you have the tools to succeed.

Make new friends. Take a deep breath and talk with people you might not have talked to when you were in high school. As you just learned, I am also new to Duluth. While I haven't moved into a residence hall, we did move across the country to make our new home in Duluth. I have made many new friends in just one month, and I know that I need to rely on the help of others to help me succeed as your chancellor.

Explore Duluth! You can take the bus from the Kirby Plaza bus hub and go downtown, to Canal Park, or to the Miller Hill Mall. Go walking on the trails in Bagley Nature Center or Chester Park. Ski the hills. Do an internship or volunteer with an organization or business in the Northland.

You are here to learn. We are here to help you. Keep looking at the tassel that you received today. Keep your eyes on the graduation prize!

UMD is a place where you will meet all sorts of people. Before we sing the UMD rouser, I would like to ask you to turn to the people around you and introduce yourself. (students introduce themselves to each other)

Now let's join the UMD Marching Band in singing the UMD Rouser! (words will be on the screen, and the RockStars will lead the singing).

Rouser words
Now let us praise UMD
Ever strong, and true we will be
And to the Bulldogs name
Maroon and gold's our fame
We hail University, Rah, Rah, Rah
U-M-D, Always with our loyalty
Sign and cheer to be victorious, UMD!

Chancellor Lendley C. Black