Office of the President

Commencement Address Spring 2017

Greetings, Comets!

Let me welcome you all — family and friends — to UT Dallas. Whether you are here in person or watching online, I join with you in celebration of our newest graduates.

I dearly wish that I could be with you today, but I find I am double-booked on commencement exercises. Today, I am with my son as he graduates from Virginia Tech. The moms and dads in the audience will appreciate what a special moment this is for my wife and me, and why we are in Blacksburg, Virginia, rather than in Richardson, Texas.

Please know that I am with you in spirit, and I share with every graduate — and every family member and friend — the great sense of accomplishment signified by this ceremony.

To the students — from today forward, you can call yourselves graduates of UT Dallas. That is an honor shared with more than 90,000 alumni. Your diploma, regardless of the chosen field of study, unites each of you through the common bond of hard work, discovery and personal growth that follows from a formal education at a great university.

Today’s graduates surely have noticed that the University itself is growing and maturing. We are, by percentage, the fastest-growing major university in Texas, and, just last month, Times Higher Education ranked UT Dallas first in the nation and 21st in the world among universities founded in the last half-century.

The men and women who will walk across the stage today will mark their graduation from a dynamic, world-class university, and they will be secure in the knowledge that the value of their degree will only continue to appreciate with each passing year.

I am proud of this University, I am proud of our students and I share the joy of all of the friends and family who have gathered to celebrate one of life’s great milestones for a loved one.

Congratulations, Comets! Enjoy this special day and all that comes after.