TCU: Chancellor Victor J. Boschini

Chancellor’s Remarks
Commencement
December 14, 2013

 

Good afternoon and welcome to Texas Christian University’s fall commencement.

This is a glorious day of celebration

  • for you, our graduates,
  • for your families and friends,
  • and for this University.

 

To each graduate, I offer my heart-felt congratulations. This is your day. Your achievement was earned through hard work, perseverance, and, undoubtedly, a little bit of luck. These past few weeks, you have looked back on your college days . . . and nights . . . recalling good friends, and favorite classes. 

 

You have reflected on the many changes in your lives and your world since Frog Camp and Howdy Week.

 

Your TCU career began with the sounds of One Republic on the Commons, and the roar of the crowd at ESPN’s College GameDay live from TCU  when Lee Corso put on the SuperFrog head. 

 

TCU baseball appeared in the College World Series and our rifle team won the national championship.

 

It has been a good time to be a Horned Frog.

 

TCU entered the Big 12.

 

Some of you followed the Frogs to Pasadena and a Rose Bowl victory.

 

Some in this class went to Havana Cuba with TCU Jazz Band and many have traveled abroad to study – what a global educational experience. 

 

Others went on a 5-day Civil Rights Tour, bringing historic events and headlines to life.

 

Many of you held internships. 

 

Worked on campus. 

 

Played on a team.

 

Started a student organization. 

 

Decided to be more “green.” 

 

Made a video.

 

Wrote a poem. 

 

Learned to dance.

 

Who knew “learning to change the world” could be so much fun!
 
The soundtrack of your college days includes concerts on the Commons by Lady Antebellum and The Fray.

In their song “Look After You,” The Fray sings:  “You’ve begun to feel like home.”
And that’s just what was happening –You found your TCU family and the campus felt like home.

There were plenty of distractions along the way.

 

Since you began your TCU career,

 

  • 1 billion Angry Birds games have been downloaded.
  •  

  • There have been 1.5 million views of that “galloping pony dance” -- Gangnam [Gong-ham] Style.
  •  

  • And an uncountable number of “Harlem Shake” videos.
  •  

  • Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have been joined by new applications--Snapchat and Vine technology, inspiring creativity and providing additional ways to express ourselves.
  •  

  • Oprah said goodbye to her daily show.
    And “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.”
  •  

  • Texas Stadium was replaced by the fabulous Cowboy Stadium.
  •  

  • Blockbuster out; Netflix in.
  •  

  • Pope Benedict was replaced by Pope Francis.
  •  

  • Prince George of Cambridge arrived on the scene as the third in line for the crown in Britain.   
  •  

  • Apple introduced the i-Pad.
  •  

  • Taco Bell introduced the Doritos Locos Taco.
  •  

  • Pinterest grew from 5,000 followers to over 17 million in less than two years.
  •  

  • PBS made a comeback in TV viewership with the success of Downton Abbey (Season 4 premiering January 5, 2014…as an aside, I can’t believe that I know that!)

 

While the landscape of popular culture was changing, so was the campus.

 

The beautiful Clarence and Kerry Scharbauer Hall (named for the Chairman of our Board of Trustees who you heard from earlier) opened, and so did the state-of-the-art Mary Wright Admission Center.

 

The Milton-Daniel Residence Hall, first opened in 1957, was renovated and the John V. Roach Honors College moved in.

 

Sadler Hall was renovated as was Erma Lowe Hall – the Dance Building. 
Built in 1921 as a gymnasium, this building also had a swimming pool in the basement – quite a site to see during the renovation.

 

This fall we opened Marion and Clark Halls in the Worth Hills area.

 

Construction is underway for the Intellectual Commons.

 

And I haven’t even mentioned the beautiful upgrade to the Amon G. Carter Stadium.
On December 5, 2010, many of you witnessed the implosion of the stadium – what a site!

 

The dedication concert with Blake Shelton made a great memory.

 

I am sure a number of you will be taking pictures today at special places all around your beautiful campus.

 

As the campus has grown, so too has the reputation of the university.

  • TCU has been recognized as ‘One of the Best Colleges in the West” by the Princeton Review.
  • We were rated as a “Great place to work” for the past three years by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
  • Our position has been elevated to No. 82 in the 2013-14 US News & World Report rankings of national universities.  This is a 17 point improvement over three years.

 

A recent alumni survey confirmed that the TCU diploma is well respected and valued, with nearly 92% of graduates responding that the Horned Frog experience was worth it. 

 

TCU has grown in numbers, opportunities, and impact.

 

Our faculty members continue to earn distinction in their fields.

 

We are raising the academic profile and reputation of TCU – and you are helping us.

 

The members of the Class of 2013 have added to the stature of TCU.

  • From the percussion national champion TCU Drumline to our Olympic athletes
  • to those who have given thousands of hours of community service  – all bring honor to TCU.  

 

Your legacy is…

  • one of great spirit, creativity, contributions to knowledge,
  • a commitment to what defines TCU:  a values-centered student experience.

Your participation in the student-led development of the Student Creed has resulted in a statement that is both an inspiration and a challenge to future generations of students.

 

The Student Creed calls upon students to “commit to excellence by serving with respect, learning with passion, and leading with integrity.”

 

I maintain that these principles will serve you well throughout life. 

  • I ask you to serve with respect. 
  • Continue learning with passion. 
  • Lead with integrity.

 

If you keep these touchstones with you, we will have met our goal “to educate ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.”

 

I can’t wait to see what you accomplish.

 

  • Some of you are continuing your education in graduate or professional school. 
  • Some are joining Teach for America and other service programs before launching into a career or another degree.  
  • I know that some of you are still in the job search. 

 

In the recent issue of The Skiff by TCU360, I took note of some remarks made by graduating seniors about their TCU experience. 
One senior said that his experience was greatly enhanced by finding the right major and getting involved on campus.   TCU provided avenues to make things happen academically and socially for him.

 

Another senior said he admired the vast changes the university has gone through the past four years, pointing out the growth on campus and competitive academic environment as a result of increasing demands in the classrooms.

 

Indeed, you are equipped with knowledge and experiences that will serve you well as you embark on the next chapter in your life.

 

I am confident that TCU graduates will perform well.

 

Just as the graduates have spent time this week looking back on their college experience, so, too, have families marked this milestone by recalling the journey that brought you here.   

  • To them, it started that first day of school when they sent you off to kindergarten with an Elmo lunch box and new crayons.  
  • They recall your driver’s test, prom, choosing a college, bringing you to campus and moving you into your room. 
  • And now, helping you move out. 

 

The journey to this day was not made alone. 

 

I congratulate the family members and friends who have stood by these graduates, supported them, maybe nagged them a little, and today celebrate with them.  I know you are proud . . . and relieved.  Thank you for being part of the extended TCU family. 

As befits this occasion, I feel it is important to share some candid advice with the graduates.  

 

The Wall Street Journal solicited advice from authors on the subject of becoming a post-college “starter adult.”

 

Writer Alida Nugent suggested:  Pay your credit card bill every month.  Let me add, don’t pay it with another credit card.  A zero balance will keep you out of trouble.

 

Novelist Iris Smyles recommended that you “be unfinished for a while.”   In other words, don’t close off other options.  Expect to make changes.  

My advice to you:  Try something new.  Keep learning.  Take a chance.

  • Be bold.
  • Be on time.
  • Remember the Neon Trees song “Everybody Talks”?  Talk more, face to face, with real people.  Don’t do all your communicating through texting with your thumbs.
  • Whatever you commit to, see it through.
  • Send a handwritten note once in a while.  It will amaze and please the recipient.
  • Gentlemen:  Dress for success.  I recommend “Suit and Tie.”
  • Think before hitting the “send” button. 
  • Stay close to TCU.   Attend one of the national networking nights for alumni held in cities coast to coast.  Check the website.  Friend us on Facebook.  Follow us on Twitter.  Come visit.  I think you will like what you see.
  • And always keep a purple shirt handy to show your Frog Pride.

 

I will not say “goodbye.”   

 

I offer you “best wishes” and “sincere congratulations.” 

 

And I say with great seriousness:  “see you later” and “don’t be a stranger.”  I hope to be here for many years, and I hope to see you, and your children, often.

 

I am so proud of each of you.

 

Thank you for choosing Texas Christian University.

 

It has been our privilege to have you on our campus.

 

We will continue to work hard to make you proud, and increase the value of your TCU diploma.

 

Godspeed on your way.