Illinois Wesleyan University Commencement
April 30, 2006

Trustee Welcome Remarks
George Vinyard ’71
President, Board of Trustees

Graduates, Parents, Family Members. . . Faculty, Staff, and Friends of Illinois Wesleyan

On behalf of the Trustees and Alumni of the University, it is my great privilege to say to the Graduates of 2006:  Congratulations and Welcome.

We Congratulate and Honor each of you for your individual achievements and contributions to the University Community.

And we Welcome you to the fellowship of Illinois Wesleyan Alumni.

To the Parents, Family, Friends, Faculty and Staff who are gathered here, we share your pride in the accomplishments of these young men and women, and we join them in thanking you for all the support, guidance and instruction you provided to help them get to this auspicious day.

Commencement is an occasion for looking back as well as forward.  Time will tell whether it has been our blessing or our curse to live in “interesting times”, but I dare say you, the Class of 2006, have been witnesses to some very interesting times.  In addition to war and conflict around the globe, you witnessed and participated in some very significant events and changes in the life of our University.  Unfortunately, during your years here we experienced, both personally and institutionally, some profound losses, transitions and renewals of leadership.  May the memories of these experiences and of those who are no longer with us in the flesh be a source of strength, inspiration and hope.

We know you of all people do not need to be told that college in the 21st Century can be pretty serious business, but we certainly hope it is not news to you at this late hour that college is also supposed to be Great Fun.  So as you take justifiable pride in your four years of work well done, skills honed, knowledge and wisdom gained, lifelong friendships forged, also fix in your minds recollections of the Joy and good times that you experienced in the process.

Looking to the future, we hope and trust that you will follow the best examples of the thousands of Illinois Wesleyan graduates who have gone before you, and use what you have learned here to lead productive and fulfilling lives that make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Finally, as you pursue your life’s goals, we ask you to Remember and Honor your University.  If Illinois Wesleyan has faithfully discharged its obligations to you as students, we trust that each of you, as a graduate, will continue to think of this as your home.  So, in closing, it is my honor to represent the Board and the Alumni Association in bidding you farewell as students and welcoming you home as alumni.  We invite you to return to your University often, whether in person or in spirit. 

You will always be welcome here and anyplace where Titans gather.