Winter Commencement 2014

Graduates, members of the Board of Regents, President Benson, members of the faculty and staff, parents, distinguished guests, family and friends; it is my pleasure and honor to have the opportunity to address you today as the chancellor of the University of Colorado Boulder.

I know today's graduates join me in extending a special welcome to their family and friends, whose love and support have helped make this day possible. Please join me in showing our appreciation.

Graduates, congratulations! Your hard work has brought you to this day. The University Seal you will soon see embossed on your diploma depicts a torch in the hands of youth with a Greek inscription that reads: "Let Your Light Shine."

With your education you have given yourself the power to transform yourself and the world. Think back to when you were a freshman, or a fledgling graduate student, and realize all you have accomplished.

In your academic career at CU-Boulder you have learned valuable lessons in critical thinking, civil discourse, collaborative decision-making and creative solutions — attributes needed in our world and admired by employers.

You have worked collaboratively and across disciplines to control satellites in space, work on biomedical advancements, develop clean energy, produce works of art, or any number of important endeavors.

Your student-led sustainability initiatives have been a model for the nation, and even the world, and earned CU-Boulder the moniker, "The Greenest University in America."

We see personal transformation in the 13,000 CU students who participate in community service every year. We see students who make an impact on the world when they design and install water and sanitation systems for developing countries.

For each of you, your growth has been personal—unique to you. But for all of you, it has prepared you for a life of career and contribution in a global society.

Congratulations! You have earned it. Hold your light high, and lead the way!

Introducing commencement speaker Robert Anderson

Our commencement speaker today, Professor Robert Anderson recalls his unique personal growth and transformation. It is our tradition to ask the university’s Hazel Barnes Award winner to deliver the winter commencement speech, and you are in for a treat.  

The Hazel Barnes Prize is the university’s highest faculty award for teaching and research, and celebrates the enriching relationship between the two.

Professor Anderson is a faculty member in the geological sciences department and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.As a geomorphologist, he studies the evolution of landscapes from 2 1/2 million years ago.

We learned in October that CU-Boulder is ranked No. 2 in the world in geosciences by U.S. News & World Report, and with faculty like Professor Anderson and his colleagues, you can understand why.

Dr. Anderson has taught a range of courses from a survey class for non-majors to graduate seminars. His undergraduate and graduate students laud his enthusiasm and his ability to teach complex concepts. 

 His colleagues wrote in nominating him that he brings the rigor of physics, chemistry and mathematical models to breathe new life into the study of earth surface processes.

 Indeed his devotion to interdisciplinary studies advances CU-Boulder as a nationally and internationally acclaimed university.

It is my pleasure to introduce our 2014 Hazel Barnes Award winner, and today’s commencement speaker, Professor Robert Anderson.