Commencement Remarks

Janice Tovey, Chair of the Faculty

December  2008



Good morning, Graduates. On behalf of the faculty of East Carolina University, I’m pleased to add my congratulations for your accomplishments. This is an important occasion and one that the faculty is happy to be a part of.

The poet Robert Browning wrote: “man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”  I take these words as a challenge—and I want to challenge you—to  reach out beyond arm’s length and  dare to dream, dare to make tough decisions, dare to move from your comfort zone, to try new things, to challenge yourself. Don’t sell yourself short—believe in yourself, in your abilities, your talents, and your knowledge. You can make a difference in this world—you will touch many lives, you will make new discoveries, you will succeed if give yourself a chance. We believe in you. We believe you will succeed and make all of us proud.

Finishing your degree and leaving the Pirate “family” that you have grown accustomed to over the last several years may not be easy. You’ve made new friends—among your peers and among the faculty. Saying goodbye can be tough. We wish you well as leave our “world,” and set off on your own. The connections you’ve made here shouldn’t be forgotten; they should be nurtured. Stay in touch with your friends, and don’t forget us—your instructors. We won’t forget you. Each of you in your own way has made an impression.

And we will think of you, wonder where you are, and what you are doing. We do want to know—so share your accomplishments with us. Besides we want to feature you on our department’s   website and brag about you—and encourage other students to realize their goals.

So, as you take your leave today, and set off for parts unknown, remember, no matter where you are, you’ll always be a Pirate!

Congratulations, graduates and good luck in all you do.