Monsignor Hyland, members of the Board, distinguished colleagues from the faculty and staff, honored family and friends of the graduates, and most especially, our graduates. Good morning and, along with the faculty and staff of St. Ambrose, congratulations!
Our ceremony comes at a special time of year, when we are all so aware of the goodwill around us.
As Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus and other faiths observe traditions such as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, it's natural for us to reflect upon the many blessings in our lives. We live in a country which recognizes and supports individual liberties such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. We have the benefit of education, food, clothing and all that we need to sustain life. We look around the room here and realize that we are surrounded by families and friends who love and support us.
We want to take this moment to recognize the many people at St. Ambrose who have supported you on your journey here: especially the faculty and staff of St. Ambrose...may I please ask the graduates to stand and join with me in an expression of your thanks!
And today, of course, we give thanks in a special way, for you: this day represents for you the culmination of long years of study: for some of you, this study has taken place in the midst of working, or raising a family, or any of many other responsibilities. For all of you, whatever your age or background, it represents success in a very tangible way. Today we recognize you for hard work, perseverance and success.
Graduates, wherever life takes you, hold this thought close to your heart: your connection with St. Ambrose does not end with receiving a diploma here today. Take from here a commitment to service and to giving back to the community, something which has been part of our long history as a university.
Being an Ambrosian will always be a part of who you are. And you will always be a part of St. Ambrose: A part we will hold very dear to our hearts.
God Bless you. Congratulations.