Distinguished graduates, faculty and staff, parents, family members, friends, distinguished alumni;
It is a pleasure to honor the graduating class of 2017, student award recipients, and this year’s distinguished alumnus tonight.
On behalf of the United States Embassy, welcome and congratulations for all of your achievements. A special congratulation as well to CMS’ faculty and staff on the work they have done preparing our next generation of world citizens.
To all the graduating seniors, it is exciting for me to be here tonight. I’ve seen the list of colleges and universities you are all off to next year and it seems we have a very distinguished group of graduates this year! Give yourselves a hand – you deserve it!
I have been fortunate in my 25 years of Federal Service and to have served in many parts of the world. It has allowed me to see the world and meet a lot of people, and not just as a tourist. One of the things that I’ve learned from them is the difference one person can make, whether it’s innovating with a hot new start-up company, volunteering with an NGO supporting human rights, or shaping public policy. Whichever path you choose, if you’re focused, persistent, and prepared, you can accomplish whatever you set out to do.
You’re already off to a good start. CMS has prepared you well. I’m sure you’ve all memorized CMS’ Essential 11 by now. These core values will help guide you as you enter college and the next stages of your lives. Having met just some of you tonight, I am very hopeful for the future. Because for you, these values are more than just words on paper.
I am inspired by you – by your passion, your energy, and your enthusiasm — but most of all by the lifetime’s worth of adventure you all have to look forward to. Be bold as you think about what you hope to accomplish and – even more importantly – what you hope to leave behind for your community and your countries.
I wish you all continued success in all that you do. Congratulations! And thank you very much.