AMHERST, Mass. – At the 92nd commencement for the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, speakers told graduates they will become stewards of the world through their chosen professions as well as the latest addition to a long-standing family of graduates who support each other. The students in six majors received associate of science degrees and bachelor’s degree of science in Bowker Auditorium today.
Degrees were awarded to 10 graduates in arboriculture and community forest management, 12 in equine management, eight in sustainable food and farming, five in sustainable horticulture, 14 in landscape contracting and 13 in turfgrass management.
Wesley R. Autio, director of the Stockbridge School, presided at the ceremony along with UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy, and Steve Goodwin, dean of the College of Natural Sciences. In his remarks to the graduates, Goodwin said they are going out into a world where there is a critical need for professionals to create and maintain sustainable farms, sustainable foods and a sustainable landscape. He also urged the graduates to take a moment amid their celebrations to thank parents, friends and others who supported them in reaching their goals.
Subbaswamy told the graduates, “The Stockbridge School of Agriculture is at the heart and soul of our university. As one of the oldest and most prestigious agricultural programs in North America, it embodies the university’s history as a land-grant campus. At the same time, the school is exponentially evolving, as it rises to meet the need for expertise in sustainable local, national, and global agriculture. It is this balance between a strong sense of history and an insistence on innovation and impact that makes the Stockbridge School of Agriculture such a valued part of UMass Amherst."
Subbaswamy reminded the graduates that the Stockbridge School has the most loyal alumni in the university. “And as we all know, Stockbridge students are a special breed. Using a combination of research-based knowledge and hands-on expertise, they work to make the world a more sustainable and beautiful place,” he said.
Both Goodwin and Subbaswamy noted that UMass Amherst is in the forefront of the green movement and is one of the nation’s leading universities in green energy technology and environmentally friendly policies. The Stockbridge School, they told the graduates, plays a key role in those accomplishments.