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Kopp's Weekly - Graduation and Commencement

Kopp's Weekly - Graduation and Commencement

Congratulations to all our seniors, and best wishes for the summer to all of you that will be returning.

Dear Students,


This will be my last message to you for this academic year, and for some of you my last message in your time at UT.  This was the weekend of graduation. Departments, colleges, and the university gathered to celebrate accomplishments, and look to the future. There were many reflections by the seniors, and insights for us all to consider.

Graduating public health Nirja Mehta gave the student address in the afternoon CNS ceremony, and noted that all students there graduating were profoundly different people than they were when they arrived at UT some years earlier. Graduating computer science major Joe Tessler gave the student address at the morning CNS ceremony and pointed out that each of is shaped by both good and bad experiences. A college experience is full of these highs and lows, from enjoyable ballroom dance clubs to a serious health scare, from an significant discovery in the lab to a really low grade on a test, or from a rewarding internship at a company to a strong disagreement with a best friend and roommate. Learning from these experiences can be one of the more significant benefits gained from college.

Retired Vice Admiral Vivian Crae, UT biology alumna and 2nd in command at the US Coast Guard, also spoke at the CNS Commencements.  She urged everyone to (1) always seek to do something that is important; (2) always seek a community of peers and co-workers you enjoy; and (3) always push yourself to grow in your experiences. Her remarks dovetail nicely with Nirja's and Joe's, knowing that pushing ourselves toward these high goals has the added benefit of weaving in to our lives the positive and negative experiences that will shape who we are.

In this sense we all graduated this year -- graduated beyond the "us" that started the year off back in August. We've grown to be able to tackle challenges we could not imagine a year ago.  And with that growth, we can imagine new beginnings.  A commencement of our next dreams and wishes.  Congratulations to all our seniors, and best wishes for the summer to all of you that will be returning.

Dr. Kopp
Sacha Kopp
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
College of Natural Sciences
Will C. Hogg Building, 2.222
Telephone:  (512) 232-0677

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Sunday, 17 October 2021

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