by Kassidy Taylor
UNH President Mark Huddleston applauded the hard work of 245 graduates in his address at UNH Manchester's 32nd annual commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 18.
"You bring a hunger for knowledge and seek out opportunities. And your desire to improve your lives, and the lives of your families and your communities, is sincere and unwavering," Huddleston said in his remarks. "I want to thank all of our graduates for inspiring me, as well, and for inspiring great pride in UNH."
Huddleston led the college's commencement proceedings, which were held at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Manchester. Read his full speech below:
Tonight, we celebrate the Class of 2017 and our graduates from December 2016.
You’ve worked hard to get here. This is a great celebration for you. And it’s also a great celebration for everyone in the UNH family.
In fact, I’d like to ask our graduates to help us with a little tradition we have at UNH Manchester. May I ask our graduates to please stand? Now, look around and see if you can spot your families and loved ones out there. And let’s give them the ovation that they deserve. Thank you, UNH Manchester families!
They are your biggest fans. They know better than anyone what your degree means to you. They remember the late nights and weekends that you put in. And they admired how you balanced it along with the demands of your jobs, growing families and community service. So, tonight, we celebrate them, too.
I would also like to honor our proud graduates who have served our nation. We have 20 military veterans who are receiving diplomas tonight. May I ask them to please stand so that we may recognize them? Thank you, veterans!
Tonight is also a celebration for the dedicated UNH staff who helped make your success possible. They kept you safe and secure. They made sure your campus was beautiful and clean. They helped you apply for financial aid, and they fed you, advised you and even gave you tips on where to find parking. And that means a lot here in the busy mill yard.
Thank you, UNH staff.
Finally, we share tremendous gratitude for our distinguished faculty. They taught and mentored you. They encouraged you in your research, connected you with internships and opened doors to great careers for you. And they each took a deep, personal interest in your success. Thank you, faculty.
Our graduates attended UNH during historic times.
You are graduating as UNH celebrates its 150th anniversary. And no city defines the dynamic history, economy and culture of New Hampshire better than Manchester. In fact, when I travel across the state and around the country to talk about UNH’s legacy, I always point to our Manchester campus as a shining example of a new era of success at our university.
Here, where a textile mill built in 1850 attracted thousands of new immigrants to work and create new lives, you studied at a beautiful and modern UNH Manchester campus. Here, you transformed your lives. You studied disciplines that earlier generations could never have imagined, including: Homeland and cyber security. Big data analytics. Neuropsychology. And biotechnology.
Your class was fortunate to welcome Dean Michael Decelle to Manchester. And today, he is well on the way to transforming this campus into a hub of innovative learning, entrepreneurship and career development.
By the way, I’d like to thank everyone who helped us move into our expanded campus two years ago. I know it was no small task.
But you showed tremendous character throughout. And you supported one another and developed an even deeper sense of special community that defines our Manchester campus.
With the move, you were able to access more hands-on research and new learning opportunities in our classrooms and labs. You worked with cutting-edge technology. And you grew as problem-solvers and team players.
This is a quality I really love about our Manchester campus students. You come to this campus not only willing to work hard – but eager to. In fact, you expect it to be challenging. You bring a hunger for knowledge and seek out opportunities. And your desire to improve your lives, and the lives of your families and your communities, is sincere and unwavering.
I want to thank all of our graduates for inspiring me, as well, and for inspiring great pride in UNH.
Congratulations, graduates! Stay in touch. Continue your journeys with great joy, health and success.
And please visit, and let us know where your diploma takes you. We look forward to seeing you back here again as engaged UNH alumni, and helping new generations of UNH Manchester students.
Thank you, everyone!
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