President Davis-Blake's 2019 Commencement Remarks
Esteemed honoree Ronald O’Hanley; members of the Board of Trustees; faculty and staff; distinguished guests; families and friends: it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 100th Commencement of Bentley University. And to the Class of 2019, welcome to the finish line!
Class of 2019. I’m so honored to share this special day with you and those who have supported you throughout your academic journey. Today represents the culmination of your years of hard work. Since first stepping foot on campus, today’s celebration has been your end goal. I know this moment can feel bittersweet. You’re leaving a community where you’ve grown alongside one another, embraced new passions, and honed your potential to be the leaders of tomorrow. But let me assure you that you will always be a member of the Bentley community. The bonds you’ve built during your time here on campus will last a lifetime.
While you all deserve to be celebrated for your hard work and commitment to excellence, you also represent a defining moment in the history of this institution. You are sitting here at Bentley’s 100th commencement. You represent the embodiment of the growth of the university since the first Bentley Associates finished their studies in 1919. Bentley is no longer in a one room school for a couple of dozen young men studying accounting. Today, we’re a university that is growing and expanding in stature and recognition, in no small part thanks to students like you. And we know that you leave us as ready to lead and succeed during these turbulent times.
Now, more than ever, our world needs leaders like you. Leaders who have a strong ethical compass and a passion for helping others become their best selves, even when that compass and that passion point away from the crowd. Leaders who are not afraid to ask new questions and to imagine new answers. And leaders who have an enduring commitment not only to asking what but to asking why.
Class of 2019. There will be many obstacles that you are sure to face as you step into the next stage of your lives. But I know that you are up to the challenge. When you cross this stage today, you’ll join the ranks of 65,000 proud Bentley alumni. They too have faced obstacles, but have persevered to become corporate executives, launch innovative business and nonprofit ventures, and make impactful changes in their workplaces, in their communities, and across the globe. I look forward to seeing your impact on the world around us.
But you certainly didn’t get here alone. You had a deep support group along the way. You had family, friends and an extended network of supporters, many of whom have joined us to celebrate your success. So before we hear from our speaker, let’s take a moment to express gratitude to those who made this day possible. Stand up, turn and face your family and friends, and join me in giving them a round of applause.
Congratulations Class of 2019! Come back and see us often. We look forward to hearing how you are changing the world.