2016 UMass Amherst University Without Walls Graduation Highlights

2016 UMass Amherst University Without Walls Graduation Highlights

October 15, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


I would like to welcome you to the campus of UMass Amherst as we acknowledge and congratulate the Graduating Class of
2016 and the 45th anniversary of the University Without Walls. It is an honor
to be here today and as I look out and see my family I’m reminded of what it
took to get to this point. Each of us today traveled to different paths to get here. We
all had challenges. For me working full time and going to school full time was a
tremendous feat but with the help of UWW we all made it work. I did it. We did it.
We are now all finally college graduates. And I want you to just sit back and let
us honor you and your accomplishments because this is your moment you are
college graduates and nobody is going to take that away from you. I was reminded of something that my older
brother Michael wrote in my high school yearbook. He said” “I would wish you luck
but you are the kind of person who doesn’t need luck; just enough time to
fulfill your dreams.” I know I speak for many of us when I say that I will be
leaving UMass Amherst today with not just fond memories but as a changed
person. There is also very special group of people sitting in the audience
sitting behind those of us with our caps and gowns are the friends and the
families of our graduates and a special acknowledgement goes to all of you because you sacrificed your time while
your loved one was working on his or her degree and I have a special message for
you. If your mom, dad, spouse, partner, son, daughter, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle,
sister, brother, grandparent or friend missed a family event or was unavailable to
you when you needed them because they were doing school work we want to thank
you for understanding and supporting them during this exceptional endeavor.
I’m happy to tell you that after the ceremony is over you can have them all
back. University Without Walls students have the distinction
of being called non-traditional and don’t you just love that. Non-traditional means more than being a
little bit older than the typical 18 year old college student and many of you
seated here today are first-time college graduates in your family. As a
non-traditional student you have successfully leveraged your experience,
your learning and your critical thinking skills in your classes and in this
complex world. You are in a very exclusive club of graduates and I can
tell you that I can speak on behalf of my colleagues we learned a hell of a lot from you. We
admire your strength, your discipline. We know many of you have balanced work,
family, travel, military service, illness and financial challenges while
doing your coursework. I’m proud to be a part of the UMass Amherst University
Without Walls Class of 2016. We did it. We overcame challenges, conquered obstacles and faced our fears with the support of the people in this room. As I know we
have not only done great things but we remain on the path to continue to do
great things. Congratulations to the UMass Amherst
University Without Walls Class of 2016 Be loud, be proud and GO UMASS!