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President Rubenzahl's Address

President Rubenzahl's Address

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Published by MassLive2
STCC president's 2012 speech to graduates
STCC president's 2012 speech to graduates

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: MassLive2 on Jun 01, 2012
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05/13/2014

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Commencement Address Dr. Ira Rubenzahl, STCC President GOOD EVENING CLASS OF 2012!!! GIVE YOURSELVES A ROUND OF APPLAUSE.

YOU DESERVE IT!

IN ADDRESSING YOU TONIGHT I WOULD LIKE, IDEALLY, TO BE AS WISE AS ALBERT EINSTEIN AND AS FUNNY AS CHRIS ROCK! SINCE I HAVE A DEGREE IN PHYSICS SPEAKING EINSTEIN’S LANGUAGE ISN’T TOTALLY OUT OF THE QUESTION…BUT…A STAND-UP COMEDIAN…I’M NOT. SO RELATIVELY SPEAKING MY REMARKS WILL BE BRIEF AND TO THE POINT.

I’VE DECIDED TO TALK TO YOU THIS EVENING ABOUT DECISIONS. PEOPLE MAKE DIFFICULT DECISIONS EVERY DAY: SAYING, “YES…OR NO” TO A MARRIAGE PROPOSAL; DECIDING TO ENLIST IN THE MILITARY; SPEAKING UP WHEN OTHERS ARE SILENT; AND TAKING THE STEP TO ATTEND COLLEGE. FOR SOME OF YOU, IT WAS A NATURAL PROGRESSION FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO ENROLL AT SPRINGFIELD TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE: TO LEARN A VALUABLE SKILL AND START YOUR CAREER OR SAVE SIGNIFICANT MONEY WHILE PREPARING TO TRANSFER TO A FOUR-YEAR INSTITUTION. BUT FOR MANY OF YOU, CHALLENGES BARRED THE WAY—WORK, FAMILY, PERSONAL CHALLENGES AND OTHER COMMITMENTS DELAYED THE PATH THAT LED YOU TO STCC.

SOME OF YOU CAME TO STCC WITH BACHELOR’S AND MASTER’S DEGREES FOLLOWING SUCCESSFUL CAREERS. YOU CAME TO STCC TO CHANGE CAREERS AND IN MANY CASES FOLLOW A DESIRE TO BE EDUCATED IN WHAT YOU’RE MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT. OTHERS CAME TO US TO LEARN ENGLISH AS THE FIRST STEP ON AN EDUCATIONAL JOURNEY.

WHETHER TONIGHT’S DEGREE IS YOUR FIRST, SECOND, OR THIRD: NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR DECISION TO ATTEND A PUBLIC INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION.

THE LAST DECADE HAS BEEN ONE OF CHANGE AND CHALLENGE FOR THE PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS IN MASSACHUSETTS. ENROLLMENT IS UP 25% IN COMMUNITY COLLEGES AND THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS RECEIVING DEGREES AND CERTIFICATES IS UP 21%; UNFORTUNATELY STATE SUPPORT IS DOWN 11%.

THIS TREND THREATENS THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION AND STCC. THEREFORE, I ASK YOU THIS EVENING, GRADUATES, TO BECOME AMBASSADORS FOR PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION IN MASSACHUSETTS. TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW ABOUT THE EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATION YOU RECEIVED AT STCC. TELL THEM ABOUT THE PROFESSORS WHO KNEW YOU BY NAME AND TOOK YOUR SUCCESS PERSONALLY. TELL THEM ABOUT THE DEDICATED PROFESSIONALS WHO PROVIDED SUPPORT SERVICES AND ACADEMIC ACCOMMODATIONS TO ALLOW YOU EQUAL ACCESS TO ALL PROGRAMS AT THE COLLEGE. TELL THEM ABOUT THE ACADEMIC ADVISORS WHO CONVINCED YOU TO HANG IN THERE WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU WEREN’T CUT OUT FOR HIGHER EDUCATION. AND THE LIBRARY STAFF WHO TOOK PRIDE IN SHARING THEIR RESEARCH EXPERTISE WITH YOU AND APPLAUDED YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS. AND DON’T FORGET THE MANY STUDENT CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT ENRICHED YOUR CAMPUS EXPERIENCE. AND MAYBE, MOST IMPORTANTLY, THE FINANCIAL AID STAFF WHO MADE SURE YOU RECEIVED EVERY LAST DOLLAR YOU WERE ELIGIBLE FOR BECAUSE NO ONE SHOULD BE DENIED ACCESS TO A COLLEGE EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN THE 21ST CENTURY BECAUSE THEY CAN’T AFFORD IT! STAND UP FOR PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION IN MASSACHUSETTS! AND URGE YOUR LEGISLATORS AND GOVERNOR PATRICK TO STOP CUTTING AND BEGIN INCREASING FUNDING FOR PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION IN MASSACHUSETTS! STCC, LIKE THE OVER 1,000 OTHER COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN THE UNITED STATES, EXISTS TO PROVIDE A PLACE FOR FIRST STEPS, SECOND CHANCES, AND ACHIEVING DREAMS. CLASS OF 2012, YOU’VE HUMBLED US WITH YOUR LIFE STORIES, INSPIRED US WITH YOUR DREAMS AND REMINDED US EVERY DAY HOW LUCKY WE ARE TO BE A PART OF SOMETHING LARGER THAN OURSELVES. AS YOU PREPARE TO TAKE ON THE WORLD THANK EVERYONE IN YOUR LIFE WHO HELPED YOU ARRIVE AT THIS DEFINING MOMENT AND NEVER FORGET THE DIFFERENCE SPRINGFIELD TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE, A “PUBLIC” INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION, MADE IN YOUR LIVES.

(AFTER APPLAUSE) AND, NOW, LET’S HEAR FROM YOU, THE CLASS OF 2012:

(VIDEO PLAYS)

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