Office of the President
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Good evening students, families, and friends of Bowling Green State University. Tonight we celebrate a very momentous occasion in the lives of 379 graduate students and 325 undergraduate students.
Please allow me to share a few interesting statistics with you about this graduating class:
- The 1,898 candidates in this May 2012 graduating class will be presented with 1,531 bachelor degrees, 350 masters degrees, and 28 doctoral degrees.
- Of the undergraduate students, 435 have also earned Latin honors based on their high grade point average.
- Of this graduating class, 58.4% are women.
- And, 17.9% are students of color.
- BGSU was the university of choice for 68 international students, representing 18 foreign countries.
- Of those receiving bachelor’s degrees, the youngest is 18 and the oldest is 58.
- The youngest master’s degree recipient is 22, while the oldest is a young 64 and for doctoral degree recipients, the youngest is 26 and the oldest is 54--proving the young are definitely driven, while our older students show tenacity and prove the concept that one is never too old to learn!
Commencement is an important occasion for everyone connected to the University and we are proud to share this event – one that heralds new beginnings and celebrates achievements. While this evening’s ceremony signifies a new chapter in your lives, it is my personal hope that you never stop learning and will always feel an attachment to BGSU.
We all have much to celebrate, and you, our graduates, are the focus of tonight’s celebration. You have already added much to the tradition of excellence at Bowling Green State University. Our message to you is simple: you have embraced the BGSU Core Values, and we hope that you let them frame your worldview, for they will serve you well in the next stages of life. The respect you have demonstrated for the ideas and values of others, especially when they are different from your own, has contributed greatly to your intellectual and personal growth. So too has the collaborative approach you have taken to learning in your disciplines and living in your communities. You have learned to think beyond the discoveries made by others, and to bring the power of your creative imagination to shape your own work and to pursue new levels of excellence.
You have grown through co-curricular involvement and leadership, on campus and beyond BGSU, such as in studying abroad. If you have taken part in an opportunity that has provided you with this leadership education including but not limited to student organizations, academic honoraries and advisory boards, athletics, residence education, student government, assistantships, or study abroad please stand and be recognized.
Our campus community is especially enriched by those students who have come from around the world to study at Bowling Green State University. Earning a degree is a difficult task, and earning it in a country with a different culture, educational system, and language is an even greater accomplishment. BGSU salutes our international students for their courage and academic excellence. Would all international students who are graduating today please stand?
Please be seated.
It is also important to recognize the service you have provided to others outside of the classroom. Whether to gain professional experience, complement your classroom learning, or support others, you have engaged in service projects and programs that have improved the world around you. Your service work offers positive proof that it is not just what you know, but what you do with what you know that truly matters. I invite all students who have participated in some type of community service work during their time at BGSU to stand and be recognized?
We appreciate and are proud of your impressive contributions to your various communities of engagement. I say to you a heartfelt “thank you” for choosing BGSU and for your years here with us. Do your best and make us proud of the stories you are about to tell.
Finally, stay in touch – with those with whom you have studied and with the institution you have enriched. You are Bowling Green State University, and this will be just as true when your degree is conferred in a few minutes as it is at this moment. On behalf of your faculty and the entire Bowling Green family, I am honored to congratulate you.