Greetings to the Class of 2012's Winter Commencement
of James Madison University
on the Occasion of Commencement
December 15, 2012
James Madison University
President Alger shaking hands and giving a diploma to a Class of 2012 graduate
Good morning, JMU family, and congratulations to all of our December 2012 graduates. It is a special honor and privilege for my wife, Mary Ann, and me to participate with you today in our very first graduation ceremony here at James Madison University. Because this is our very first commencement here, I will always have a special connection with this group. Considering I am in my first semester here, however, I suppose I am still a freshman; so, you all are several steps ahead of me. Of course, as I am wearing this beautiful and heavy medallion around my neck, it is no wonder that I am a few steps behind everyone else.
Even as we celebrate this educational milestone today, it is fitting and appropriate for us to first pause to remember the children and adults who lost their lives yesterday in the tragic school shootings in Connecticut. Please join me for a moment of silence in their memory. Thank you.
I hope you will relish and remember this day—December 15, 2012. You have accomplished a lot to be here and I hope for all of you the best is yet to come. You are about to become alumni of James Madison University, which is a very special group of people who share a treasured and lifelong bond. All of you here today are part of the extended JMU family. Parents and family members, that means you too; not just now, but for the rest of your lives. Please come back and visit us often.
While all of you have worked hard to get to this moment, we also recognize that many other people have supported and encouraged you along the way. Please join me in taking a moment to thank those special family members and friends in all of your lives, many of whom are here today. I also want to acknowledge the critical role of the faculty at James Madison University. They have pushed you to explore new ideas, expand your minds, and fulfill your potential. In addition, the staff members of this institution take great pride in their work and in creating the best possible learning environment for all of our students. Please join me in expressing our gratitude for the amazing faculty members and staff who have made this educational experience possible and who are our most important resource.
As you go forth from JMU, we hope you will continue to dream big—to dream about how you can use your gifts and talents to address the challenges and issues in our communities, and about how you can make a difference in the world. You will be ambassadors of James Madison University wherever you go, so stay in touch and make us proud. Congratulations to all of you.