Nick Giordano - Commencement 2016

Thank you - it’s hard to believe we’re finally here. Four or five years ago the graduates always told us it would go by in a blink of an eye and we always seemed to take that for granted, but in a blink-of-an-eye, here we are.

Nearly a century ago, my great-grandfather, John Breeden, worked maintenance in the girls’ dormitory at the downtown campus of the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute, the school that would become known as our soon-to-be alma mater of RIT. His work, our work, and the work of all of those who pass through these halls, represents a continuum; a cumulative effort to continually advance and progress ourselves and our community.

Each year another graduating class passes through those doors, at first probably headed to the bar, but then onwards to whatever the future holds. And regardless of what lies ahead, we all share that common bond forged here at RIT. That bond is what pushes us to strive for more, it is the friendships we’ve built and the mentors that have guided us along the way. It’s the spark of hope you see in a younger student as they take the reins of leadership and the knowledge that you’ve helped to leave this community a better place than how you found it.

As John swept the halls of that girls’ dormitory, he became a link in our continuum, just like my mother, father and sister who’ve graduated before me. I’d like to thank you all for allowing me the serve this community, and the best of luck for all of us who have strived to do our part in the never-ceasing effort towards progress.

In your program, you will find a list of undergraduate and graduate college delegates. They were selected from each college and the School of Individualized Study to represent their fellow graduates during the official conferral of degrees a bit later in the program.

The undergraduate and graduate speakers today were selected by Drs. Destler, Haefner, and Johnson after a wonderful luncheon with all the delegates. While each delegate will address the graduates at their individual college ceremonies, undergraduate college delegate Ruth Starr from the College of Liberal Arts was selected to deliver today’s Undergraduate Student Address. She will be followed by graduate delegate Tyler Fornes from the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. Tyler will deliver the Graduate Student Address. Please join me in welcoming Ruth Starr to the podium.