Commencement 2010 - Trustee's Welcome
by William C. Mulligan '76
On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Denison University, I welcome all of you to the 2010 Commencement exercises concluding the 179th year of the college. I am privileged to participate in these ceremonies, particularly since 34 years ago I was unable to attend my Denison commencement due to illness. Now I know what you’re thinking — excessive celebrating the night before graduation had apparently taken its toll. While a reasonable assumption, the truth is that I came down with the flu a few days before graduation. So thank you for allowing me to share and experience this Denison commencement with you.
Class of 2010, today you take the significant and, perhaps, uncertain step from student to graduate, joining the thousands of others who have gone before you. Today you transition from the safe and protected environment at Denison where other people have graded you and your level of success, to one where you will be responsible for grading yourself based on your own sense of decency, integrity and accomplishment. I suspect, after four years at the college, you are up to that challenge and well-prepared to move into the next phase of your lives.
In addition to recognizing all of the graduates and the important transition you are about make, today we also recognize Dr. Deborah Bial, President and Founder of the Posse Foundation, with an honorary degree. In a moment, we will have the opportunity to hear from Dr. Bial, whose work has redefined the ideas of access, merit, diversity and leadership across many of the nation’s top colleges and universities, including Denison. Almost 10 years ago, Denison welcomed it first class of Posse students from Chicago. At this commencement exercise we graduate the 6th Posse class from Chicago and the second class of Posse students from Boston, who now join the ranks of those who proudly call themselves Posse Scholars.
Finally, I think it is important to recognize another group of people who deserve to share in the spotlight today. I refer, of course, to all the parents, who, through their support, have made this day and the entire Denison experience possible for all of you graduating. To all the parents in the audience and those who could not be with us, we thank and applaud you.
So, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, I extend my heartiest congratulations to the members of the Class of 2010. Enjoy this time with your family, enjoy your friends, and celebrate this very special day. It is a day that you will remember for the rest of your life.
It is now my pleasure to call to the lectern the President of Denison University, Dr. Dale Knobel, who will lead us in these proceedings.