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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Remarks at Commencement Thank You

Category: University Events
May, 2018
Commons Dining Hall

Commencement Thank You

Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

I thank you all for coming to this celebration of a job well done!

As the great art critic John Ruskin once said, "There is really no such thing as bad weather—only different kinds of good weather."

For Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's 212th Commencement, we had a different kind of good weather than we were hoping for—but all of you managed to make it a beautiful ceremony nonetheless—for the great class of 2018, for their families and friends, and for our honored guests.

The guests themselves were wonderful—the Honorable Mary Jo White, Dr. Eric Lander, Ms. Alicia Boler Davis, and the great Mr. Herbie Hancock—and our Colloquy was one of the liveliest in memory. However, they were also effusive about their experience of Rensselaer—and that is due to your intellectual agility, adaptability, and hospitality.

I thank…

  • our faculty members who participated in the ceremony, as well as our Deans and Cabinet members;
  • the people in Strategic Communications & External Relations, and in the President's Office, who planned, coordinated, and communicated about Commencement;
  • the many men and women in our Physical Plant, Environmental & Site Services, Parking & Transportation, and Public Safety, who readied our campus for thousands of visitors—and truly made it look beautiful, and
  • our many wonderful volunteers, without whom we could not hold an event of this magnitude.

Here at The New Polytechnic, we speak a great deal about the importance of collaborating to address great challenges.  At Commencement every year, all of you prove that this is more than a concept that animates research and teaching at Rensselaer—that it truly expresses something important about our spirit as a community.

I am so proud of all of you for working together so beautifully and creating such a magnificent occasion, and I am so proud of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.