Spring 2020 GC Bachelors in Business Ceremony 3
SNHU [Today isn t just about celebrating a great achievement.] Mom, it's ready! Is it here? Say, congratulations, Mom! Congratulations, Mom! Go give momma a big hug. Look how cool! [It s a celebration of you, our graduates.] Face me. No hold it like this. I got my diploma and I m opening it.
Congratulations. You ve earned this. What did daddy get in the mail? Its here. What do you think? It looks so good, Mom. Looks good? Mmhmm. Congratulations Wooo! [car horns honking] It is my great pleasure to welcome all of the families, the friends, the administrators, the incredible faculty, and most of all, you, our graduates. Welcome, welcome, welcome.
We are excited to celebrate with you today. We will come out of this stronger than we went in. We ve learned so much, we ve grown so much. We re still, at the end, focused primarily on students and everything else is secondary. [This past year wasn t what any of us expected. But through it all, you continued to exceed expectations.]
Hi, I m Shawn. And I m Joanne. And we re SNHU graduates. I chose SNHU to get a bachelors and a masters. I chose SNHU so I could continue my athletic career.
I just received my degree from SNHU. SNHU is really supportive of my disability and allowed me to stay engaged in my classes while still attending doctors appointments. I am Michelle Barnhart, and I m a SNHU graduate. As a student, SNHU made me feel like I belonged because they were always there for me whenever I needed them.
Everyone s path is different. But the destination and the dream are still the same. To hold that degree and say to the world, Im a college graduate. I did it. At Southern New Hampshire University, you aren t just a student. You re the author of your own story. You don t just dream, you do.
Where others see challenges, you see opportunities. You persevere in spite of everything life throws at you. When things get hard, you dig deep and find a way to break through. And after tackling late nights, and rallying for early mornings, your work has finally paid off. And today, we are proud to call you Graduates. Southern New Hampshire University Welcome to the 2021 Virtual Commencement Hello, my name is Dr. Jennifer Batchelor, and I m pleased to welcome you to the first
ever Southern New Hampshire University Virtual Commencement. We are thrilled to be celebrating our graduates with their families, friends, as well as our faculty and staff, who are watching from all over the world today. We are so proud of all you ve accomplished and are very much looking forward to the opportunity to recognize your academic achievements in-person as soon as we can. I would like to now ask everyone, if you are able, to please rise for the singing of our National Anthem, sung by Jessica Caldwell, a Director of Academic Advising here at SNHU.
Oh, say can you see by the dawn s early light What so proudly we hailed at the twilight s last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight, O er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O er the land of the free and the home of the brave. Thank you, Jessica. Welcome, everyone, to this year's Commencement ceremonies. We re broadcasting this ceremony live, though, many of you may be watching it later depending on where you are. We have students from around the globe, time zones may dictate that you watch this with your family at another time. And you might be sitting wherever you are,
thinking, well, this isn't the Commencement ceremony we planned on. We ve thought that more than once, and you wouldn t be wrong. But I want to recall a conversation I had with Laurie Santos from earlier this year. Laurie is an amazing faculty member at Yale, and we had a conversation, you'll hear from her later today, as our Commencement speaker. And we had a conversation earlier this year which I was asking her about the impact of the pandemic on our students and the toll it was taking, and she said, Yeah, it's been tough. But these students may be the most close-knit class that we will ever produce, that years from now, decades from now when they meet each other, they will have this bond. They will be the ones who studied and completed and graduated during a pandemic.
Something that none of us have ever experienced before and I hope we won't ever again . And she also reminded me that this is the year in which despite all the suffering, and it was considerable, life also flourished. People fell in love, people proposed, were married, babies were born, businesses closed, but a lot of businesses began and started in the midst of this. And people throughout showed amazing kindness and compassion. And against that backdrop, college degrees were
completed as well. You finished, and you did so showing resilience, and courage, and sacrifice and many with a burden that was much more than could be expected of you. There are front-line workers in this graduating class, there are public health workers in this graduating class, public safety people, medical professionals, you did all that our society asked of you and more, and you also completed your college degree. We stand in awe. So, we celebrate today in this virtual way because that's what public health dictates, and we made a promise to you that as soon as we can safely do so we'll have a physical Commencement ceremony. We would love, I would love to greet you onstage, see you in the audience.
But take pride in this accomplishment, take more pride in this accomplishment, not less. We will brag about you more in the years to come, not less. We will remember you more vividly, not less. You are an amazing class, and don't let distance and virtual space diminish the virtues of this accomplishment. Commencements are important, really important. They are the parade through the city streets when the team has won the championship, but no one confuses the parade for the game. They are not, parades are not the Championships. You won that game and the long hours of being a student in writing papers, completing exams.
And when you finished your last class, I know you remember that day, the last assignment was handed in and earned your degree, in that moment, you won the championship. You come into this day the champions of your own story and of our hearts, and we are incredibly proud. Let the ceremonies begin. It s my pleasure to introduce this year's Commencement speaker, Dr. Laurie Santos, of Yale University. Laurie has received a Doctorate of Humane Letters for her contributions to
the social sciences and more importantly for her guidance, which has taken on national prominence for how to lead a healthier and happier life. Laurie is an incredibly influential figure who's taught us about resiliency, positive psychology, and in a way that doesn't neglect the genuine challenges and suffering in the world. But instead talks about how we build a meaningful and happy life despite, in some cases, because of what we've been through. Laurie is perhaps the most apt speaker we could have for this incredible year that we've just been through together. I'm happy to introduce Dr. Laurie Santos.
Hello and good afternoon to everyone watching this 2021 Southern New Hampshire University Commencement address. To President Leblanc and all the members of the faculty and staff, to all the honored guests, to the family and friends of everyone at Southern New Hampshire University, and last but definitely not least, to all the graduates here with me today, the spring 2020, fall 2020, and spring 2021 classes, thank you so much for having me here today. I can't tell you what an honor it is to speak to your Commencement class in particular. Simply put, your class is amazing. I'm looking out over this video screen at 45,000 graduates, on-campus and off-campus learners, scholars from all 50 states, and more than 50 countries.
People from all walks of life who share this love of learning and have come to Southern New Hampshire University to become scholars. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you for all your accomplishments, big and small, that you've had over the last few years. But I also want to congratulate you on the fact that you've managed to achieve all these accomplishments in one of the most challenging times our country and our world has ever seen. I m sure that when you signed up to go to college you didn't think you'd be getting your degree in the middle of a global pandemic. In the last 15 months, all our lives have changed in ways that nobody could have imagined, but in spite of all of those challenges, you're all sitting here today proudly watching this virtual Commencement address. You're ready to head off into this new nearly post pandemic
world with your degree and that is incredible. You all rock and you should be really, really proud of yourself. And so when I started thinking about the kinds of things I could say during this virtual Commencement address, I wanted to address all the uncertainty and all the difficulty that we've all been facing. But to be totally frank, being a virtual Commencement
speaker in 2021 is kind of hard, because the usual tasks of a Commencement speaker is to give you some wise and very sure of itself advice, something that you can use for the future. But right now, we're celebrating all of your achievements at a time when the future seems more uncertain than ever. I mean, I am a scientist and a happiness expert, but this is still my first global pandemic. I'm not sure what the next few months or even the next few years hold. And so when I thought what I could tell you during this kind of challenging, strange uncertain time, I wanted to go back to something that I know will work, something that science tells me is advice that I can be sure of. And so I want to give you a strategy that is known by science to improve not just your physical health but also your happiness. And that strategy
is that I want you to take some time to experience gratitude. The simple act of counting your blessings. Now, feeling grateful right now in such a challenging time can be difficult, it s also a little counter cultural. These days we re more likely to count our hassles than our blessings. But research shows that gratitude can help, especially during difficult times.
Grateful people are not only happier but healthier, they sleep better, they have stronger immune function. Gratitude can reduce depression and anxiety, and it also can make you more productive. No matter what job you are off to right now, gratitude can make you perform a little bit better. It can also help you with the big things in life, like saving for retirement and eating more healthily. You're less likely to procrastinate if you're feeling grateful, and it's a kind of strategy that can benefit you a lot in the future. And so, in the few minutes I have with you, I wanted to try it, and want you to experience some gratitude. So, bear with me, wherever you are, I want you close your eyes, and I
want you to take a minute to just recognize how lucky you are. How lucky you are to come to a place like Southern New Hampshire University. Think about how lucky you feel and how grateful you are. But even more than that, I want you to take a moment to experience gratitude for all the people who helped you along the way. Because the fact is, none of you made this journey on your own. This big accomplishment, that you are all experiencing right now, it is
something that you share with a huge village. Now, I think soon all of you are going to get your diplomas and when it arrives you are going to open it up and look at your name there in big, bold letters. But I want you to remember all the names that are also there, in invisible ink. The many, many, many other names that have helped you with this accomplishment. And I want you to remember that they are not written on there in an obvious way, but they are there in invisible ink. On your diploma in invisible ink, is going to be the name of your mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, aunties and uncles, cousins, family friends, grandparents, stepparents, everyone who has been there for you. On that name in invisible ink is going to be countless numbers of friends who've been there for you when you needed them, who ve given you advice, who ve talked you through the tough times. On there in invisible ink are probably your high school teachers, mentors,
coaches, everyone who has been by your side through the long history of learning that you ve had. And on that diploma in invisible ink, are also going to be generations of people before you who ve worked incredibly hard so that one day you could call yourself a college graduate. Now I want you take a moment to notice how you feel, thinking about how lucky you are all those names of people who helped you along the way. That warmth in your chest, or maybe some of those almost happy tears you might be shedding right now, that is a genuine feeling of gratitude and connection. It s a feeling that this world has your back. And that s
what gratitude can do. It s a performance enhancing drug, and one that s likely to give you lots more happy feelings in the time to come. Class of 2021, I hope you'll take the scientific tip to heart. I speak for everyone else who s watching this when I say that so many of your teachers and family members and friends are incredibly proud of you, and incredibly grateful that you ve now graduated.
Congratulations on all your accomplishments, and here is to deeply and intentionally appreciating all that life brings you from here on out. Congratulations, and thank you for having me as your virtual Commencement speaker. President LeBlanc, I am pleased to introduce the newest graduates of Southern New Hampshire University s Global Campus Business programs. Our Global Campus Business graduates will enter the business world prepared with academic degrees, expertise, and experience in an impressive array of disciplines and specializations including Accounting, Business Administration, Business Analytics, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, Operations and Project Management, Organizational Leadership and Management, Public Administration, and Sports Management to name a few. Our business graduates will enter more complex, dynamic, interconnected and technology-driven organizations, than graduates before them. Through their studies at Southern New Hampshire University, and their real-world experiences, they are prepared to succeed in the highly challenging business environments that await them. Studying in face-to-face, hybrid, and online
environments, these students have balanced the challenges of career, family, community, and academics to reach this milestone of earning their degree. In the process, they have acquired the knowledge and skills in a host of other areas such as cyber-ethics, digital intelligence, judgement and decision-making, people management, persuasion and negotiation, and service orientation. These graduates will approach their business careers with an open and entrepreneurial mindset. They will work collaboratively and cooperatively; they will be leaders and team players; they will communicate effectively, efficiently, and with confidence, and, they will blend the lessons learned from the past, with today's technologies to solve the challenges of tomorrow's uncertain future. Our business graduates have come from all over the world to study and learn together, in a spirit of cross-cultural diversity, which is the hallmark of the globalized and interconnected world in which they live and work. They will truly be citizens of the world - whether they return to work and live in their home communities, or venture farther afield to work abroad. Today, these graduates transition from being
yesterday s business students, to being today s business professionals, and tomorrow s business leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Additionally, please allow me to thank the many faculty, associate deans, academic advisors, and staff who have contributed to the success of our business program students. Your work will have lifelong positive impact on the lives of our graduates. Thank you! Congratulations to the newest graduates of Southern-New-Hampshire-University s Global Campus Business Programs. At every graduation ceremony there's one last piece that makes it official. And it's a bit of legal language that I m required to read. I didn't read it one year when I started at
SNHU. So, there may be a whole class of people who think they graduated, and they may not have, but don't tell them. But you will be taken care of, so here we go. By the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees of Southern New Hampshire University and by the general court of the State of New Hampshire, I hereby confer the degrees of Doctor of Education, Doctor of Philosophy, International Master of Business Administration, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, and Master of Science; Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Applied Science and Bachelor of Science; Associate in Arts and Associate in Science with all rights, honors, and privileges pertaining thereto. Congratulations. Congratulations to the newest graduates of Southern New Hampshire University! On behalf of the Alumni Board of Directors, I am honored to officially welcome you into the SNHU Alumni Association! Today, more than 156,000 SNHU alumni around the world congratulate you on your success and hope you will be an active part of our global SNHU community! At this time, if you are one of our learners who has earned an Associates or Bachelors degree, I invite you to participate in the ceremonial tradition of moving your tassel from the right side of your cap, to the left. (Pause for brief applause)
As you go forth today, always remember the University's motto: Summa Optimaque. In English, the greatest and the best, and indeed you are. Congratulations again! (Clapping and cheering)