A Glimpse of Graduation

Bradley Havard

Bachelor of Science, Computer Science

Some things are just very UT Dallas, like a bunch of engineers using calculus and 3D modeling software to design their entry for the cardboard boat regatta. Or the sight of a dozen honors students, Profile Photo of Bradley Havarddressed from head to toe as zombies, limping through the center of campus.

UT Dallas is a unique place, and a great school. Today I’d like to give three reasons why I love this University.

My first reason is this: At UT Dallas, if you want to do it, you probably can. The doors to this University are open. For example, one student decided he wanted to teach a workshop on ham radio. The Collegium V honors program gave him a meeting room, and a bunch of my buddies became certified as ham radio operators. Now, these were all engineering students. And, as we all know, engineers don’t like talking to strangers. So they spent about an hour on the radio, and then decided to go do something else. At least they learned something.

UT Dallas gives its students opportunities that you just don’t get at another school. If you want to take a master’s-level course, you can. If you want to conduct research in a lab, you can. If you’re willing to walk into a professor’s office, you can be a part of your field from the first day you arrive on campus. Students with a vision thrive at UT Dallas.

The second thing I love about UT Dallas: We have some great classes. Now, I know, we’ve all taken that class that we just couldn’t stand. Apparently we all passed. Good job. But, we’ve all also taken that class that we loved to attend. The one that was challenging and interesting, and taught you things you just wouldn’t know otherwise.

Imagine that someone had the chance to take any class at this University, just for fun. Would you have a class to suggest? I think we would all have a list. Take Dr. Van Miller’s neuroscience class, and he’ll tell you how the brain stores memories. Or take Dr. Douglas Dow’s ethics class, where he’ll teach you how to make any ethical decision, then tell you to argue the opposite side on the test. The University’s best professors aren’t just great experts, they’re great teachers.

UT Dallas gives its students opportunities that you just don’t get at another school. If you want to take a master’s-level course, you can. If you want to do research in a lab, you can. If you’re willing to walk into a professor’s office, you can be a part of your field from the first day you arrive on campus. Students with a vision thrive at UT Dallas.

Finally, I love UT Dallas because it has prepared me for life after college. Last summer I completed an internship at Microsoft. I found myself applying the material from classes that I’d almost forgotten I’d taken. UT Dallas’ engineering and computer science curriculum has taught us what we need to know to succeed. In other words, don’t be afraid of your boss—you know what he or she knows.

I also found that my time here has taught me to weather the challenges that I will face after I graduate. The leadership opportunities I’ve had at this school have taught me how to achieve my goals in the real world. I’m not afraid to fail, because I failed many times in the last four years. And, I’m confident of success, because I’ve also succeeded many times.

I’d like to conclude by saying that UT Dallas is only getting started. This school has ambitious goals. And I think it will achieve them, because it’s hard to stop a school that is completely convinced of its own potential, just as it will be hard to stop us. A college degree is something that appreciates in value. I know that in 20 years, my degree will be worth more than it is today. So, while you’re out in the world applying the lessons you learned as a student, don’t forget the school that gave you your start. UT Dallas will still be here, getting better every day.

Bradley Havard graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. He minored in mathematics.

The National Merit Finalist came to UT Dallas from Second Baptist School in Houston. At the University, Bradley was a member of the Golden Key Honor Society and was a speaker for the Collegium V Council. He has accepted a full-time position as a software development engineer with Microsoft.