UT Dallas

Glimpse of Graduation, Spring 2019

Photo of Christian Vieira
View More Tevin Edney Bonnie Helm
Brian Hoang
Aminah I. Khan
Ashton Rel
Zehra Rizvi
Emily Stinnett
Pranav Thanki
Weston Tuttle
Christian Vieira

Christian Vieira

Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering

Hello, and good morning to President Benson, Dean Balsara, all faculty, friends and family that are here in attendance this morning. On behalf of the graduating Class of 2019, I would like to thank you for all the love and support you have shown us over the years. It would not have been possible for any of us to be here today if not for you, and we wouldn’t want to celebrate this day with anyone else. Please join me in showing them a small token of our appreciation by giving them a round of applause. 

“Deciding to call UTD my home for the past four years has been one of the best decisions I have made, and we should be proud to call ourselves Comets.”

Now, to my fellow Comets. Congratulations! We did it! All the hard work we have put in has paid off — the countless hours of studying for exams and finals, pulling all-nighters to finish a project we had a month to work on but our friend procrastination kept getting in the way. No matter what it was, we found a way to get the job done and overcome every single challenge we faced during our time here at UTD. We all know that we wouldn’t have made it alone, and we already thanked all the people in the stands, so now we should thank each other. We supported one another semester after semester as the courses got harder. We cheered when deadlines got extended! And we assured one another that the professor would curve the test we thought we were prepared for but turns out we should have done a couple of more practice problems. We were all on the same team with one goal in mind. That goal was to be in this room today, and I am extremely honored to be able to share this day with all of you.

Looking back over our time here at UTD, I always loved to learn about everyone’s journey — how we got here and what’s next? So, how did we get here? This is one of the most diverse campuses in the world. The people in this room have come from as close as five minutes down the road and as far as countries on the other side of the world. Some of us came here straight from high school and have been here the past four years, while others transferred in halfway through. With the diversity this campus has to offer, no two stories are the same. Well, except for me and my roommate’s story. We were best friends in high school, and he didn’t know what he wanted to do or where he wanted to go, so he just followed me here. Best decision of his life; you’re welcome Keaton! There are hundreds of stories in this room, and despite how each of our stories started, our journey has led us to be here on this very special day. 

The first time I heard about UTD was six years ago. I got an email from the men’s soccer coach, Jason Hirsch, asking me to come visit the school and offering the chance to play on the team. Naturally, I decided to look up UTD and the first thing I learned was that we had an awesome chess team, as well as one of the strangest mascots. I mean, come on guys, I know I’m not the only one that did a double take the first time I saw Temoc. Now our school is known for an engineering program that ranks amongst the top in the state, athletic dominance in the American Southwest Conference and a No. 1 ranking in the nation for universities 50 years old or younger. Deciding to call UTD my home for the past four years has been one of the best decisions I have made, and we should be proud to call ourselves Comets. 

So, what’s next? After today, many of us will be headed to the workforce, pursuing the start of our professional engineering careers. Or perhaps you want to continue your education and attend graduate school with hopes of earning your master’s or PhD. Whatever your dreams and ambitions are, I urge you to chase after them with the same desire and passion that has driven you this far. This year marks the 50th birthday for our incredible school, and I can not think of a better class to represent how much our school has evolved over the past 50 years.

Now I would like to personally thank the incredible friends I have made on this journey, especially my Mech-eze group. We have been through a lot of ups and downs, and I will always remember the amazing times we shared with one another. And of course, I would like to thank my family. Their unconditional love and support over the past 22 years have been more than I could have ever asked for. Especially from the two people that I look up to the most. Thank you, Mom and Dad. I love you guys.

Like all parents, mine were always trying to teach me and my siblings life lessons: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” “Christian, get your head out of the oven!” But there is a lesson that has stuck with me over the years that I want to share with all of you. My parents always told me to “leave a place better than how you found it.” After our time here, I can confidently say that UTD is a better place than how we found it. But why stop there? Our potential can only be limited by our desire and imagination.

Class of 2019, congratulations. I wish you the best of luck on all your future endeavors wherever they may take you. Now let’s go leave our mark on this world and leave it a better place than how we found it. Thank you.

Christian Vieira, from Leander, Texas, is graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He played on the men’s soccer team for four years, winning two conference championships, and is a four-time recipient of All-Academic American Southwest Conference honors. He has also been a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Council for the past three years, most recently serving as vice president. After graduation, he plans to work at EOG Resources in San Antonio for the summer, with hopes of returning to UTD to complete his master’s degree.