Friday, December 19, 2014

Commencement marks important milestone for students

While most of us have been getting ready for the holidays, this past weekend marked an important milestone for many others as commencement ceremonies across our 14 State System universities were conducted. I would like to congratulate our undergrad and graduate students on this exciting achievement and wish them success and happiness as they continue their journeys.

As a lifelong educator, I’m proud of the dedication of our students and all those who have helped them attain this goal. Along with their families and friends, our students were supported by countless faculty and staff at each of their universities. It was those individuals who helped on the days when life was challenging, and the road ahead seemed impossible; but with that support, these newly minted graduates pushed through to success. And they did so knowing that they can overcome any obstacle that might stand in their way, something that will be invaluable in their careers.

As I mentioned in my previous post, a college education is one of the best investments anyone can make. According to a recent study by the U.S. Census Bureau, an individual with a bachelor’s degree can expect lifetime earnings to be more than double that of someone with a high school diploma alone. Add a graduate or professional degree, and that figure goes even higher.

In turn, investing in higher education, is one of the best investments the state can make. Nearly 90 percent of State System students are Pennsylvania residents, most of whom will remain here after graduation to live, work, and raise their families, supporting the state’s economy as they do.

I’m personally looking forward to seeing even more from our graduates as they leave campus and make a difference in our Commonwealth and the world.

Finally, we all would like to wish you and your family a very happy and healthy holiday season and the very best in the new year.