Dear Graduates, Families, and Friends of the Class of 2011:
Welcome, to the members of the graduating class of 2011. Today you join more than 19,000 Pitt-Johnstown alumni who are making a difference in our communities and around the world.
It was just four short years ago that you and I began our careers at Pitt-Johnstown. One of my first official duties as President of our fine institution was to welcome you to campus. On that day in August 2007, I made a promise to you:
By the time you graduate, you will have participated in a distinctive learning experience that blends traditional arts and sciences education with rigorous professional programs and options; you will have enhanced your classroom experience with enriching co-curricular out-of-class activities. If you avail yourself of the rich in-class and out-of-class learning opportunities at Pitt-Johnstown and if you apply yourself diligently and purposefully, you will graduate with the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and attributes of an educated person in an emerging global society; you will be Ready for the Real World!
Congratulations! You have done it! You have availed yourself of our high-quality educational programs, and, with the help of talented faculty, you have expanded your ability to think critically, reason soundly, engage in inquiry, communicate effectively, solve complex problems, and link theory-to-practice with an eye toward real-world implications. In addition to a high-quality education in the classroom, you also took advantage of a wealth of experiences outside of the classroom. You took an active role in shaping your career and professional development, were engaged on campus, participated in our communities, and developed an ethos of service. In the process, you gave your time and talents to those in need, refined your leadership skills, and focused your mind and passion on the issues that challenge our communities in a rapidly changing world. You have learned to appreciate the importance of a healthy balance between the mind, body, and spirit. You are a Pitt-Johnstown graduate, ready for the real world.
One way to think of Pitt-Johnstown is as one large social network. Remember this network also contains dozens of faculty and staff who were instrumental to your success here, as well as your many friends who helped you achieve this milestone. I hope these friendships will help to keep you connected to your alma mater through the many memories that you share, and that they will sustain you as you navigate the road ahead with all the challenges and opportunities that life will surely bring. And I hope, for your part, that you continue to update your network of 19,000 alumni. I hope you continue to reconnect with your friends and family at Pitt-Johnstown. Pitt-Johnstown will always be home to you. You are always welcome here.
I would be remiss to not to take a moment to acknowledge the family, friends, and support from those who gave so much in innumerable ways to make this day count. To them we owe an enormous debt of gratitude.
It is always bittersweet to say good bye. But, in some respects, even though it is bittersweet, we are happy to be a part of this celebration and watershed event and happy to help you set sail to a world of possibilities. We are grateful that you chose Pitt-Johnstown for this phase of your life’s journey. We wish you well as you move on, even as we ask you to come back, and come back anytime. Godspeed as you pursue your dreams and make a difference in the world.