As we bring 2015 to a close, I want to offer this message to our students—recent, current, and future. First, we all extend congratulations to our recent graduates who were joined by family and friends last weekend to celebrate the conclusion of a very important chapter in their lives. Commencement is a testament to all of the hard work and dedication these students demonstrated throughout their time at one of our 14 State System universities. My advice to them: remember that as this chapter closes, a new one will begin. Whether you choose to pursue graduate school or launch your career, you have been given invaluable tools by university faculty and staff—tools such as critical thinking and communication skills—that will equip you for success in life.
For our returning students, who are still working toward their degrees, consider 2016 as an opportunity to start fresh. My advice to them: reflect on how far you’ve come; take pride in those things you knocked out of the park; and double-down on your effort with those things that are most challenging. Your friends who walked across the graduation stage last week are living proof that you can achieve this goal.
If I didn’t mention high school seniors, I would be remiss. My advice to them: the year ahead will require very important decisions for your future. Finding the right path to fulfilling your dreams is extremely important. Take a hard look at all of the opportunities that universities, community colleges, and technical schools provide, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If one of our 14 State System institutions is the best place to start your next chapter, we’ll be excited to welcome you into our family of more than 107,000 students.
To the students, faculty, staff, and administration, we extend our wishes for a very happy holiday season and look forward to an exciting new year.