Transcript: 2012 Convocation Ceremony

Prepared remarks for the Convocation Ceremony, delivered August 24, 2012 by Provost William M. "Mike" Sherman.

Students, congratulations!

You have made the first step to a very bright future. You are a University of Akron Zip!

Week of Welcome Highlights

The college degree you are pursuing, and will receive, has a high value.

It is a high value whether you are a student whose:

  • Passion is polymers, criminal justice, philosophy, English, nursing or any one of many other majors
  • Whether you have known you major since elementary school, or whether you have come here to find your passion
  • Whether you are a student who comes from generations of college graduates, or you are the first in your family to take this great journey.

You will discover what every generation of college graduates knows - your college experience will change your life. You will accomplish more than you ever thought possible.

My colleagues and I are committed to making that possible by providing you with a world-class educational experience. We call it The Akron Experience. It is a college experience like no other. One that you will look back upon with a great sense of appreciation.

That's not to say it's going to be an easy journey. You can expect some challenges along the way:

  • To sweat over an exam critical to your major
  • To revise a research paper because the first three drafts don't seem quite right
  • To realize that a different major is better than the one you already declared.

I guarantee, the sweat, possibly tears, and certainly learning, will be worth your efforts. Through that learning, you will begin to look at the world in a different way. You will think differently, act differently and appreciate your opportunities.

This change is needed because this is a time of great change in our world. Every decade has been a time of great change, we just don't know what the changes will be. I can tell you the we will need your creativity to solve the challenges that face all of us today.

Along the way, remember this: on your graduation day, your family and friends will be cheering as you cross the stage because you faced your challenges and learned and matured and triumphed. They will applaud because because you stayed focused on your goals. That is what accomplishment is all about.

Your success will be possible because of your Akron Experience - an exceptional combination of academics, cultural activities, career planning and faculty support that begins today. In the end, you will find yourself accomplishing more than you ever thought possible. We are privileged to be a part of your success.

Every day is a good day at The University of Akron...your trust in us makes it a great day at The University of Akron.

Thank you.