2019 Remarks by Chancellor Subbaswamy at Stockbridge Commencement

Prepared Remarks by Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy
97th Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Bowker Auditorium, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Good afternoon! Welcome to the families and friends who join us today for the 2019 Stockbridge School of Agriculture Commencement. It’s wonderful to have you all here. 

And of course, “Congratulations to the Class of 2019!” 

As you know, this past year was the 100th Anniversary of the Stockbridge School. At the celebration, I spoke about the commitment to competitive excellence that runs through Stockbridge – a commitment we see every year as our students apply their knowledge and expertise across a wide range of opportunities.  

We saw this competitive excellence in March, when students from five different majors represented the university at the 2019 National Collegiate Landscape Competition team in Fort Collins, Colorado. They joined a field of 830 other students, representing more than 60 colleges and universities from throughout the country.  

At the competition, our UMass team earned first place in Arboriculture Techniques; a top five place in three events; a top 10 place in two events; and the top 25 in nine events. This exceptional showing across events earned an overall placement of 17th.   

We also witnessed this Stockbridge commitment to excellence closer to home throughout the academic year, with students representing the university in local media; using their expertise to enhance the beauty of our campus; and playing an instrumental role in the success of the Centennial Celebration this past October.  

We see your excellence everywhere, and as Stockbridge begins its next 100 years, your commitment will be an invaluable.  

The importance of agriculturally related disciplines plays an ever-increasing role in the health and well-being of society. In our quickly changing, increasingly complicated world, more so than ever, we need the competitive excellence that runs through Stockbridge graduates as we address the environmental and agriculture challenges of our times 

With one hundred years of history, knowledge and expertise woven into your university education, I know you are well-prepared to meet these new challenges. And I am honored to be here today, as you commence this important next phase of your life.  

On behalf of the entire campus community, I thank you for your commitment to excellence. You have made our university a better – and I know you will make the world a better place too.  

And remember, return to campus often. You will always be a part of the UMass Amherst community and we want to hear of your successes. 

Thank you. Congratulations to the Class of 2019! And GO UMASS!