Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh Tells Wentworth Grads to ‘Dream Big and Don’t Settle’

August 19, 2018

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh (Photos by Joshua Touster)

BOSTON, Aug. 19, 2018 -- Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh today challenged 647 graduates from Wentworth Institute of Technology to seek a larger purpose in life and effect change through voting.

Walsh delivered the keynote address at the university’s Summer 2018 Commencement, before a crowd of several thousand family members of graduates from across the United States and abroad. The ceremony was held at the Seaport World Trade Center.

 “Your story will take a different path than mine. But the lesson is the same for all of us. Dreams are living things,” he said. “I encourage you to think about your education this way: not just in terms of the skills you take, but the impact you can make on the world. Your purpose in life.

 “So, I urge you to dream big and don’t settle,” he said. “And no matter how big you dream, be ready to grow that vision and aim even higher.”

He appealed to the new graduates to vote, especially in the general election on November 6.

“Check the registration rules and deadlines where you’re living. Talk to your friends about it. Make a plan to vote. Volunteer on a campaign. Seize your future with both hands and make your voice heard.”

Walsh, who received an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree, saluted Wentworth President Zorica Pantić, who is leaving her post on May 31, 2019 after a 14-year tenure marked by historic transformations to the campus and academic programs.

“She’s not only a role model for students,” he said. “She’s a role model for university leaders as well.”

Pantić called Walsh a remarkable leader for the city.

“You have been a crusader on behalf of working men and women—an exceptional public servant who seeks to build a safe and vibrant urban landscape of civility, liberty and opportunity for all. Time and again, when your city has needed leadership you have answered the call,” he said.

“Wentworth is a challenging and forward-looking campus. This degree represents your talent, grit, and imagination—energized by one of the best universities, most dedicated faculties, and greatest cities in the world.”

Student speaker Hannah Schulze, BBME ’18, urged her classmates to never give up their passions.

“We grow up with so much creativity and humility, and that’s replaced by the struggle to understand our role as adults. The people I admire most are able to carry forward that creativity in their lives,” she said. “Don’t let people look down on your enthusiasm.”

Christian M. Roidt, BARC ’18, received the Beatty Award for superlative academic achievement, and Brigit Bratland, BIND ’18, sang the National Anthem and Alma Mater.

Pantić congratulated military veterans who were among the graduates: Stephanie D. Andrews; Joseph Patrick Burchill; Gregory Harry George Chadis; William Denis Dempsey; Adam M. Dennison; Christopher John Fernandes; Shaun Hanafin; Kyle Kable; Carlos Adalberto Menjivar; Francheska Nicole Nunez; Austin John Phillips; David Regan; Thomas Ronca; Jose Ruiz; Bryan Scott Schartel; Michael Joseph Thomas; and Colin Anthony Warren.

Eric Overstrӧm, senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, recognized faculty members whose exemplary work and service recently earned them one of four President’s Awards: Beth Anne Cooke-Cornell, associate professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, who received the President’s Award for Distinguished Service; Omair Zubairi, assistant professor in the Department of Sciences, who received the President’s Award for Distinguished Scholarship; Mark Mixer, assistant professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics, honored with the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching; and Mira Yun, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Networking, who  received the President’s Award for Distinguished Academic Advising.

P. Michael Masterson, chair of Wentworth’s Board of Trustees, received an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree for his career as a highly successful business executive and transformative leadership of Wentworth’s board—“an impressive record of oversight forged upon genuine consensus building.”

The inaugural Presidential Medal was awarded to Robert H. Swanson, Jr., PET ’59, HON. ’07, a co-founder and former executive chairman of Linear Technology Corp. and a leading Wentworth benefactor. The medal honors an individual whose life and work embody the ideals and values set forth in the university’s core mission to educate, inspire, and foster innovation. Swanson was cited as a, “gifted entrepreneur and trailblazer.”

Photos from the event can be found below or on our Flickr page. 

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