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Advice to Graduates: Live with Heart, Kindness, Passion

ESF celebrates December Commencement
12/7/2018

Graduates gather for 2018 December Commencement

By Karen B. Moore

"Live your life with heart and kindness. Do in your work what you love and are passionate about. Be willing to work hard with complete dedication," said Dr. David Amberg, ESF's interim president, to the Class of 2018 during December Commencement exercises.

"Always give more than you take and leave every situation in better shape than you found it. Lastly, pay it forward; many helped you succeed so return the favor to those following behind you," he said, assuring them these "simple rules" would contribute to "productive, happy lives."

Amberg's remarks were one of the highlights of the ceremonies Friday at Hendricks Chapel that celebrated the accomplishments of the College's newest graduates. The College conferred 182 degrees, including 32 master's degrees and 16 Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The ceremony also included the presentation of three Graduate of Distinction Awards.

Student speaker Isabella R. Horvath reminded her fellow graduates how they were welcomed to ESF with a serenade from the Orientation Leaders during their first days at the College. She suggested that graduation might have a song also.

"If ESF graduation were to have a song, I'd pick Macklemore's Ten Thousand Hours. … 'Ten thousand hours felt like ten thousand ants. Ten thousand ants, they carry me.' … This message is talking about something all ESF students practice. For ESF students, our work slips away and it stops being something we do for a paycheck. Instead this work becomes something we do because we truly are driven by it," she said.

"ESF surrounds students in an environment of support and genuine passion that only nurtures our drive. This passion is what separates ESF students from so many other college graduates and gives us the ability to achieve 10,000 hours worth of passion. We enter ESF with the raw desire to change the world and ESF molds this motivation into a skill set that allows us to effect change while still backed by that original passion."

Three alumni were also honored during commencement. Graduate of Distinction Awards were bestowed upon Dr. Robert I. Bruck '78, Dr. Katia R. Aviles-Vazquez '99 and Seth Jensen '05.

"The environmental challenges of the 21st century are and will continue to be, daunting," said Bruck. "The very sustainability of our planet is at stake. Find your niche and embrace it with all your passion. I remind all of you that the only way to fail is to give up."