TCU: Chancellor Victor J. Boschini

Chancellor’s Remarks – COMMENCEMENT
May 12, 2012

 

Good afternoon. It is my great pleasure to welcome all of you to Texas Christian University’s spring semester commencement. To each graduate, I offer my heart-felt congratulations. This day belongs to you. The degree you will soon receive is not only a celebration of your accomplishment; it is a symbol of your commitment to make this a better world for all of us. And to the family, friends, faculty and staff members here today — thank you for sharing in this grand occasion.

 

As the person offering this commencement message, I’m told it is my duty to pass on some memorable advice…words that will stay with you for a lifetime. Slim chance, right? To be honest — I remember very few of the words delivered when I received my undergraduate degree, so if you remember what’s said here — even for a day or two — I’ll be satisfied.

 

Now that you are college graduates, you will be moving into “The Real World,” where there is no spring break. To make things easier for you in your freshman year at TRW (“The Real World”), two of my favorite authors, Terry Bibo and Wes Smith, came up with some suggestions for you which appeared in the Peoria Journal Star in 1980. While most of you get your daily dose of the news on your electronic devices, many of us remember when we read a newspaper each morning to learn what was going on in the world! Even though they wrote these words over 30 years ago, I think their advice is still worthy of your consideration...and should hopefully remind you that graduates for many years have faced the same challenges as they transition to the land of TRW.

 

You might want to memorize their hints with the same intensity you put into memorizing those mathematical equations, French adverbs, or rock formations.

The good news is that if in “The Real World” you should find out you really don’t know anything, at least now you know where to look it up. Here goes. And you don’t even have to take notes on this VERY important information!

According to Bibo and Smith, things will be a bit different from now on but you can avoid a few bumps by remembering that...

 

  • Cars require oil, batteries, tires, antifreeze and insurance. And if the payment on that new Land Rover seems low, make sure you’re really buying it and not just leasing it.
  • Landlords require a security deposit. It’s safe to assume you’ll never see that money again.
  • Beware the purchase that requires nothing down and no interest until 2020.
  • Most babies and student loan payments come due in about nine months.
  • Medical insurance is not a gift from the gods. Garage sales are.
  • Never grocery shop on an empty stomach.
  • Before long, people your age will be buying lawn mowers and having children. Learn to feign interest in both.
  • Your parents’ good name is theirs. You’re a big kid now. Your credit rating is your own.
  • Some people have never heard of Fredrick Nietzsche. Others don’t care.
  • Spoons, corkscrews and spatulas don’t grow in kitchen drawers.
  • You are now old enough to tip.
  • Your new neighbors in “The Real World” will not appreciate Drake or Lil’ Wayne at top volume as much as you do.
  • Never join an anything-of-the-month club unless you love junk e-mail, spam and collection notices.
  • Soon your parent will expect you to pay for half of the golf cart.
  • Save up to buy quality everything. Good stuff lasts.
  • Never wear flip-flops after the temperature drops below freezing.
  • Income tax returns are not a gift from the government. They got more than you did. If not, you better change your name.
  • Bed sheets require occasional laundering, even if they are 600 thread-count Egyptian cotton.
  • If the authors of self-help books have figured out an easy way to make a fortune with no money down, why would they tell you?
  • Nobody sells a used car because it runs well.
  • Never borrow money from anyone, especially a friend you want to keep.
  • Never lend money to anyone, especially a friend you want to keep.

And finally, if you remember just one thing today, remember this: Class of 2012, in general — in life — you get what you give. Be a little more charitable in all your actions to others and you will reap a lifetime of close family ties and good, lifelong friends

 

Graduates, you have completed your degrees at TCU, and most of you will be leaving our campus. But it is my sincere hope that your graduation does not mark the end of your association with your alma mater, but merely the beginning. You are making the transition from student to alumnus. We need you now more than ever.

 

Back when you were still in the process of selecting a university to attend, we tried to attract you here with a variety of selling points — an outstanding and caring faculty and staff, a challenging and invigorating curriculum, quality facilities and technologies, an array of cultural and social opportunities and a welcoming campus environment. I hope we have lived up to our sales pitch. Now that you will be alumni, I ask you to tell us where we’ve fallen short. And I hope you’ll also tell us where we’ve met or exceeded your expectations.

 

As individuals, you have experienced great success in your academic careers, as signified by the degree you will claim today. You acquired a breadth of knowledge, vital skills and new abilities. You not only passed your classes, but you also learned how to do research, how to think critically, how to craft an argument and, then, how to make it. You have built the foundation for the next phase of your lives — and that is quite an accomplishment.

 

And whether or not you’ve noticed, TCU has also enjoyed great success while you were here. You saw classes grow smaller as the student/faculty ratio improved from 15:1 to less than 14:1. You’ll return someday — far into the future — and reminisce about how your class was among the first to call the new Brown-Lupton University Union the BLUU… to live in the four new Commons residence halls and the GrandMarc… to buy textbooks at the new Barnes & Noble Bookstore… to attend classes in Palko and Scharbauer Halls…to witness the Mary Wright Admission Center rise from the dirt in record time…and to see the demolition and rebirth of the Amon G. Carter Stadium.

Perhaps you were one of the many to participate in new offerings such as the Energy Institute or the BNSF Next Generation Leadership Program. Or maybe you traveled with TCU’s Jazz Band to Havana, Cuba, as one of the first college groups to travel to that country in decades. Perhaps you were among the students who traveled to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Or maybe you journeyed with many other Horned Frogs to Pasadena and witnessed TCU’s emergence as Rose Bowl Champions. Throughout your days on campus, TCU has been committed to becoming better and to creating a multi-faceted world-class, values-centered university experience.

 

And your university granted degrees to hundreds of highly motivated students — among them — YOU.

 

Our world is a rapidly changing one, where so much is disposable. Few things last. But there is one thing that can’t be taken away from you. That is your degree and your relationship with your alma mater. We are proud of you, and we hope you are proud of TCU — now and in the years to come. There was a TCU in 1873 and there will be a TCU in 2073. Before you leave our campus, I present you with a few points to consider.

 

  • TCU was founded in 1873 by brothers Addison and Randolph Clark.
  • Consider what has happened in our world since 1873 – 139 years.
  • Countries and governments have risen – and they have fallen.
  • Economies have flourished – economies have crashed and then recovered.
  • Diseases have been eradicated which previously wiped out thousands in a very short time.
  • History’s pages report of great wars followed by times of peace.
  • When I consider the challenges which your fellow alums of each decade have faced, it is gratifying to know that TCU is still standing and providing a hope and future for those who learn and study here...those who will shape our world’s future.
  • I hope that brings some comfort to you – it does to me!
  • So – bottom line – when people ask me if I believe TCU is part of the long-term future, my answer is always an emphatic YES. It may be a bit different than we view it today but the lasting value will prevail.

So I’ll close now — not with “good-bye” and “good luck” — but with so long. I hope to be here for many more years, and I expect to see you here, too. I look forward to seeing you, and your children, and seeing you often.

 

Congratulations to each of you (and your families) and thank you very much for choosing Texas Christian University. It has been our privilege to have you on our campus. We are proud of you, and we will miss you. Godspeed on your way in “The Real World.”