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'Take Us Where We Need to Go,' President Tells Graduates

December Convocation honors new graduates, two outstanding alumni
12/14/2009

More than 100 new ESF graduates, and two alumni, were honored during the College's December Convocation Dec. 11.

Some 115 degrees were awarded, including 10 Doctors of Philosophy during the ceremony in Hendricks Chapel. The College also presented Graduate of Distinction awards to Dr. Robert Lenz '56 and Joe Martens '81.

ESF President Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr. pointed out the timeliness of the graduates' first day as ESF alumni: It was also the fifth day of the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen. The international news coming out of Copenhagen underscores the need for the world's future leaders to understand the challenges that face the planet in the areas of climate change, biodiversity preservation, and access to natural resources, Murphy said.

"You graduates need to take us where we need to go," he said.

"There needs to be a green revolution. We honor you and we ask for your future leadership."

Martens, (MS, '81, resources management) who is president of the Open Space Institute (OSI), urged the graduates to get involved in volunteer work, seek out internships and expand their experience through travel so they can learn to apply their education to the real world.

"Your education at ESF has given you the tools. Now its up to you to build something," he told the graduates.

Lenz (Ph.D. '56, chemistry), a pioneer in the field of polymer chemistry, recalled his own years at the college, saying, "There were great educators, there were great professors, there were great researchers."

"The education that you have gotten here prepares you for anything you want to do," he said. "You got a world-class education."

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