UTC held commencement ceremonies for more than 1,100 graduates on May 3.
UTC College of Arts & Sciences; College of Engineering
UTC College of Business; College of Health, Education & Professional Studies
Flickr Album: UTC Graduation, Spring 2014
Low-resolution video from the ceremonies is available via UTC MediaSite:
- Morning commencement: Arts and Sciences; Engineering →
- Afternoon commencement: Business; Health, Education and Professional Studies →
Chancellor’s Address, Commencement May 2014
Congratulations Graduates!! I commend each and every one of you for all of your hard work and dedication. Each of you has helped to shape and mold UTC into a better institution than we were prior to your arrival.
You have seen our new library and lecture halls come close to completion – you will have to return for our grand opening in the spring. You have seen Chamberlin Pavillion rise as a major landmark in the middle of campus, the Metro Building undergo major renovations and become the home to HHP, Nursing, and some of our Communications programs. Cardiac hill now has stairs and Crossroads has a great front door. You have seen change in your own lives and participated in the evolution of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
I am honored to serve as your Chancellor and have the opportunity to address our distinguished graduates, your families, friends, and our university community.
It is my privilege to provide the charge to our graduates. Graduates, you are ending one chapter in you life and beginning another.
There are four things I want to convey to you today:
(1) Relish challenges. Do more than is expected of you. Try new things and take on the BIG problems. Do not shy away from difficult problems. The rewards you will realize increase with the difficulty of the problem. Do not fear failure – you will figure it out.
This has served me well. At one point in my career I was asked to be the dean of a college of science and agriculture – I am a chemist, what do I know about agriculture? It seemed like it might be fun, exciting, invigorating. I would learn new things and meet new people. And, I was not sure I could do it, but I decided to give it a shot. This path opened so many doors and allowed me to have so much fun. It changed my life. I would have been bored with the safe path.
The technology revolution has changed the way our society operates and communicates. By necessity, you will be lifelong learners. Change is the only constant – we must adapt.
Relish Challenges and take on the big problems.
(2) It is the journey, not the destination that counts. Cherish each and every day of that journey. You will reach your destination soon enough, enjoy the ride. Many of you think you know what your career path will be. Others are still looking. Whatever the case, choose a path and start moving. The mistake is doing nothing – your journey will open new doors that you did not even know existed. Get going and do not second guess yourself, or worry about failure.
You will face setbacks. You may change directions. Just keep moving, looking, learning, and having fun. Keep your eyes open, for interesting, exciting, detours that might be fun and challenge you. Sometimes you will find that small detour is actually the entrance to a superhighway – just as my path to academic administration was for me.
A family friend once told me to find something I love to do and figure out how to get someone to pay me to do it. I thought things like that only happen in movies, but I can tell you, it is real, it works, and it can happen to you.
It is all about the journey.
(3) Look for ways to give back and help others. It will enrich your life in ways you could never imagine.
The dollar in your pocket is important, but the knowledge that you helped someone realize their full potential, provides a warm feeling in your heart that is priceless.
(4) Cherish your relationships and those around you.
None of us get anywhere without support and help from others.
Be sure to thank those who helped you to get to this moment. Keep in touch with your friends. Take the time to be a good friend. You will get busy, you will focus on your career, the current crisis in your life. There will never be the right moment to coach in the youth soccer league, take your parents on a trip, or just make a phone call to someone who has been there for you – just do it. It is important.
Graduates, thank you for all you have done for your campus and our community. I have enjoyed getting to know some of you and I must say, you are an incredible group of people. You are a Moc forever not just for your time as a student. This is one relationship we hope you treasure throughout our entire life. Your faculty would love to hear from you. Come back and visit, come to an event on campus, or just drop us a card or letter.
You are why we are here. You are the future of our society and our world. We are proud of you.
Also, you are a graduate of a great institution that is part of an incredible university system. As a system, we work together for the good of the people of Tennessee. While Blue and Gold runs through your veins, please be proud of the UT Orange – it is the system that has empowered UTC to be the great institution it is today.
I wish you all great success in the future.
Please continue to wear the Power C with pride and keep in touch with us – this is your university. You are the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.