Office of the President

Honors Convocation Speech

President Ajay Nair
2018 Honors Convocation
Saturday, April 14

Students, families, trustees, faculty, alumni, staff, and guests: Good morning, and thank you for joining us to celebrate Arcadia University’s community of scholars. Today, we honor both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty members whose exemplary accomplishments further the intellectual mission of Arcadia University.

I’d like to address four groups with us here today. First, those who have established scholarships and academic awards. In many ways, we are here today because of you. Whether in honor of someone close to you, or because of a belief or a passion in a particular discipline, these gifts support and recognize the creative and scholarly pursuits of our students, and encourage them to push academic boundaries and exceed their own expectations.

To put it simply, you make more possible than you may realize. For that, we offer you our deepest thanks.

The next group I would like to address is our faculty. In many ways, we are here because of you. We celebrate your scholarship today. Your insatiable quest for learning is imparted to our students. Not only do you lead in the classroom, guiding students to where they need to go intellectually; but you lead by example, striving forward with discoveries in your research and scholarship.

We are an institute of learning -- emphasis on the last word. If I may speak metaphorically, each student embarks on a journey when they begin at a college or university. For most of us, when we embark on a journey with an unknown path, a guide is needed. The Arcadia faculty members are the ones who guide our students. They lead our students to paths of discovery, and to realization and knowledge.

To the members of the Arcadia faculty, we salute you and all that you have and will continue to accomplish.

The next group I would like to address is the families and friends of our students here today. In many ways, we’re here today because of you, and because of the support you provide to your students.

Some of you may have college degrees. I hope — I intend— to be in your seat for my children in a few years. Perhaps, like me, you were the first in your family to attend college. Maybe your student is the first in your family to attend college. No matter if you are an Arcadia University alum or a friend visiting campus for the first time, your impact on this University community is evident today— by realizing potential and fostering excellence in these students, you have contributed to the growing landscape of higher education.

The final group I would like to address is our students. In every way, you are the reason we are here today. You are the reason we are at Arcadia. You are our purpose, you are our mission.

No matter how many scholarships or awards are established, no matter how well our faculty teach and lead by example, no matter how much support you receive from your families and friends, it is you who achieve. You are the ones awake late at night studying and writing papers. You are the ones balancing personal, professional, and co-curricular obligations with your determination to excel in your fields of study. You are the ones who use a tremendous sense of inquiry to make discoveries, to experiment, and to create.

Do not be satisfied with what you have accomplished. Reflect on what has brought you here today, but focus on how much more there is to accomplish. Above all, a university is defined by its students and its scholarship, the academic excellence of its students and faculty. Based on the achievements of those here today, we should take great pride in how Arcadia is defined.