Gale Stevens Haynes, Provost, Long Island University
Commencement Address - May 16, 2013
Today, we celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates; however, no commencement would be complete without recognizing those individuals who have been instrumental in bringing about our graduates’ success.
Will administrators and staff please rise.
To the administrators and staff who tirelessly assisted our students in navigating their own path through the University.
Will the Faculty please rise.
Teacher, Challenger, Task Master, Co-Explorer, Mentor, Counselor, Friend. Core of our institution. Pulse of the Academy. Singularly and collectively you have provided our student body with an extraordinary educational foundation. Please accept the sincere gratitude of our entire University community.
And now to my dear graduates--the class of 2013! What a joy those words must be to you and to all those gathered here today at Brooklyn’s own Barclay Center to celebrate and honor your remarkable achievement.
Congratulations! The the tests and papers are over, at least for now and here you are at this very special junction in a lifelong journey that will at times challenge and reward you. Today is a day that symbolizes a great change in your life. Think about all the hurdles you had to overcome to be able to march into this arena and the many sacrifices you had to make in your life to complete your degree. Some were deliberate, others unintentional, but all resulted in leading you to this place and time. For you see, change is inevitable. Don’t we hear about it everywhere we turn: the evolving markets, the restructuring of education, the upgrades in technology, and globalization 4.0.
I urge you to see and appreciate the larger picture, to understand that the pace of change has increased significantly in this new century, and that you as an LIU Brooklyn graduate are obligated not only to participate, but also to make a difference. This means you must act to inspire others to imagine more, discover more, participate more, and grow more. In other words, you must lead others on the path of change, so that collectively real justice, peace, and progress can be achieved.
We are reminded by President Obama that [the change we seek] “…will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek.” So my dear graduates the world is yours, but remember you must be the change you wish to see in the world.