This year’s graduation was especially poignant for me because I started with the class of 2015 when I came to Nichols. Also, this is our bicentennial class which will hold a very special page in the history of Nichols College.
When I spoke at graduation, I shared what a privilege it was for the faculty, staff and administration to have had the opportunity to mentor them, to challenge them, and to help them succeed. “We know you leave us at your best…for now. But, the best is yet to come for you.”
Legal Sea Foods owner Roger Berkowitz was our commencement speaker and he shared three pieces of advice with our graduates – 1) your education is not over with your graduation; 2) if you’re in a management position always take time to ask questions of your hourly associates – those closest to your customers; and 3) know that your future survival and success will rely on your ability to acknowledge and harness disruptive forces and opportunities surrounding you.
Our student speakers offered some valuable advice as well. I especially like the Dr. Seuss quote that valedictorian Samantha MacMillan shared, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” She continued by sharing, “None of us are the same people that we walked in here as. And I truly believe I speak for my class when I say that part of the Nichols experience is discovering our strengths and walking away as more confident individuals.” Andrew Haas, President of the Class of 2015, reminded the graduates that they arrived on campus during the same time as Hurricane Irene. Fortunately, this did not affect the students’ experience for long. As Andrew stated, “the students’ time on campus went by quickly with four years full of moments and friendships that will extend even further in time.”
Nelson Henderson said, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” Now go plant some trees – and return on occasion to sit under the trees planted for you on the Hill. Remember, no matter how far you roam, our Bison will always be welcomed home on the Hill.
Congratulations Class of 2015!