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Graduate Commencement, 2015

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Rebecca Chopp

Letter  •

Congratulations to our brand new University of Denver Alumni!

Today you join a community of over 133,000 alumni who live around the world, carrying forth our commitment to serve the public good. As you commence, or begin, your life as DU alumni—whehter you are in communications or business, social work or education, science or the arts, social sciences or my own beloved humanities, or any of the other amazing professions and fields represented here today—remember always that you go to serve the world as well as to create your career.

Education in this country and most certainly at the University of Denver prepares you for a life not only of personal success—and I hope you enjoy much success!—but also of service to something beyond yourself, to the good that we hold in common, and in this way for the good that benefits society broadly.

As John F. Kennedy once noted, “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our Nation.”

An education from a selective private university such as the University of Denver is one of the greatest resources and launching pads you can have. The city, country and world need those resources: we need your skills, your compassion, your leadership and your imagination. As we celebrate your incredible success in obtaining this advanced degree, we ask you to use it always to address problems, to create new opportunities, to improve the lives of those who suffer, to dedicate your life’s work for the flourishing of all, and most certainly of our planet.

We charge you as University of Denver alumni to be real leaders: leaders who listen deeply to others, who live with a moral heart, who imagine new possibilities, and who can make a difference. As you go forth this day, may you fulfill your hopes and dreams and may that fulfillment benefit, nourish and strengthen our public good.