UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy's Introduction of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick at the Undergraduate Commencement on May 9, 2014 at McGuirk Alumni Stadium on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Today, I have the immense honor of introducing our 2014 commencement speaker, Governor Deval Patrick.
Governor Patrick was elected to his first term in 2006 on a platform of hope and change. He entered office propelled by an unprecedented grassroots campaign.
In 2008, two years into his first term, the worst economic crash since the Great Depression set off a global economic collapse.
In this midst of this financial chaos, Governor Patrick provided not only steady leadership, but also a vision for moving the Commonwealth forward. By choosing to invest in education, infrastructure and innovative industries, he positioned Massachusetts to rebound quickly from the global recession and continue its growth trajectory.
In March, nearly 3.4 million citizens of Massachusetts held jobs. Employment has never been that high in the history of the Commonwealth. The Governor’s strategy of creating growth by investing in education, innovation, and infrastructure is working.
The Commonwealth is also first in the nation in student achievement, health care coverage, economic competitiveness, entrepreneurial activity, venture funding, energy efficiency and veterans’ services.
Our biotech sector is one of the fastest growing in the world, our clean tech sector is seeing double-digit job growth, and over 100,000 citizens of the Commonwealth have been trained for jobs to meet this growing need.
At the same time, manufacturing in Massachusetts is growing more than 50 percent faster than the nation as a whole, and seven times the rate of growth during the previous administration. Under Governor Patrick’s leadership, we’re investing in our public spaces. Today, over 110,000 acres have been added to our conservation lands, and soon over two million residents of the Commonwealth will be able to walk to a local park.
Governor Patrick also understands the importance of access and connectivity: under his leadership, people across the Commonwealth have vital online access as the result of a new 1,200 mile fiber-optic network that serves to connect every community to high-speed Internet.
Massachusetts is also connected to the entire world through direct flights to Dublin, Madrid, Toronto, the Dominican Republic, Tokyo, Panama City, Istanbul, Dubai and Beijing. Logan Airport saw a record number of travelers in the last two years and Worcester Airport is open for business.
Given the state of the Commonwealth, it is not surprising that young people and families are moving into Massachusetts. Reversing a long decline of past years, our population is growing again – and growing faster than the rest of the region.
Of particular importance to all of us celebrating today, Governor Patrick also clearly understands the critical role education plays in growing a robust economy. During his tenure, public education in the Commonwealth has been funded at historic highs.
This investment includes the University of Massachusetts. Working with UMass President Caret, Governor Patrick has presided over a significant reinvestment in the campus, making the Commonwealth one of the few states in the country to make such an investment since the 2008 market crash.
As the flagship campus of the Commonwealth, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is grateful to Governor Patrick for his visionary leadership and ongoing support. He clearly values the importance of educating the next generation of leaders and we are truly honored and thrilled to have him here today.
Ladies and gentlemen, Governor Deval Patrick.