2021 Commencement Address

Condensed version of President Munson's 2021 Commencement Address:

Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

Together, we successfully finished the academic year!

On behalf of the university, I want to thank students, faculty, and staff for your dedication to keeping our Tiger family safe during the pandemic. Many of you have made sacrifices and compromises that have enabled a significant number of in-person classes and activities, and for that, our campus community is grateful.

We know our students worked very hard in unprecedented circumstances and we are very proud of every one of them.

You will always be the class that not only survived such rigor and research, but you completed your education during a pandemic. You are the class that already has answered the call to make the world a better place.

We pride ourselves in preparing our graduates to be citizens of the world. That means preparing you for jobs and careers, but also for life.  Today’s world needs people who know how to create and innovate, analyze and implement, collaborate and lead. As you move on to the next phase of your life, you will face new challenges and tackle new opportunities. I know you will continue to hone the abilities and skills you have developed here at RIT. I urge you to continue to rely on your RIT family for support from this moment forward.

Tigers are champions!!! A pandemic was not going to keep our students from stellar performances in national competitions:

  • A team of Rochester Institute of Technology students took home the top trophy at the Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition (CPTC) international finals Jan. 7-10. Stanford University placed second and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona placed third. This is RIT’s first time winning the competition, which challenges the world’s brightest cybersecurity college students to put their hacking skills to the test.
  • After a year of virtual competitions, the RIT Baja racing team won first place at BAJA SAE in Tucson, Arizona.
  • The RIT VEX U Robotics team placed third overall in a March competition that featured teams from all over the country.
  • A team of students from RIT’s College of Art and Design and Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences was honored for its video game project at the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI) Game Challenge 2021

Completing your degree marks not just an end; it is also a beginning. Upon leaving RIT, you will have opportunities for lifelong learning and achieving new goals. Many of you will immediately enter productive careers, while others may go on to further your education. We hope when you reflect on your time at RIT, your memories will be of favorite professors and staff, lasting friendships, and a feeling of pride and fulfillment.

All of us at RIT—faculty, staff, and trustees—congratulate you and your families and wish you much continued success.

Please come back and visit us! Whether it is for Brick City Homecoming, Imagine RIT, or a hockey game, we love when you return to campus. We will make you proud.