May 10, 2008
Mark Alan Taggart, Chair of the Faculty
Thank you, Chancellor Ballard. Good morning, graduates, families and friends! On behalf of the faculty at East Carolina University, please allow me to extend my heartfelt greetings and congratulations to each and every one of you on this special day!
This festive occasion today celebrates the accumulation of your accomplishments as students at ECU. We have celebrated with you as you’ve succeeded in the many challenges you have faced. Your successes here will also prepare you as you face the many challenges that lie ahead. I hope that you’ve been able to take advantage of the many opportunities that we’ve been able to offer you, from attending the special guest lectures hosted by the Harriot College, or following ECU athletics in competition, or by taking in a play, art gallery event or musical performance. These special memories have become part of you, and will contribute to that special bond that makes you a part of the ECU family. And to my students out there, congratulations! Your presence here is testimony to your hard work. Every day in the Fletcher Music Center has been a joy because of you. I hope that I’ve been able to share with you my deep love of this thing called “music!” Remember that the pursuit of knowledge is a life long journey that only begins in the studio or classroom.
This ceremony also symbolizes the end of a chapter in your lives. You’ve accomplished your goals and it is now time to leave the nest and to move on -- to graduate or post-graduate studies, to begin careers and families, and to make a difference in other peoples’ lives. Since this is my final address to you as Chair of the Faculty, I, too, am with you, looking forward to new challenges and opportunities. The road ahead is full of unimaginable possibilities! It may well lead you back here on campus, whether it is for a visit or to attend an event. It may bring you back as your children select the university they may want to attend. And, maybe, you’ll return by joining our faculty or staff, or even by becoming a member of our board of trustees.
Congratulations, graduates, good luck, Godspeed, and: don’t forget to talk like a pirate!!