Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy: Remarks at Undergraduate Commencement

Remarks by Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy
147th Undergraduate Commencement of the University of Massachusetts Amherst
Friday, May 12, 2017
McGuirk Alumni Stadium, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Good afternoon and welcome to the 147th Undergraduate Commencement of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  

It is an honor to share the platform with our distinguished guests:  

I would also like to extend an especially warm welcome to all the families and friends who have joined us here today for this momentous and joyful occasion.

And, of course, congratulations to the Class of 2017!

The Class of 2017 is graduating during one of the most exciting eras in the history of the university.

In recent years, our campus has experienced unprecedented momentum, ascending in the national rankings further than any other university. We are – by almost any measure – the fasting rising major public research institution in the country. 

Many reasons exist for our success:

  • Our faculty are recognized as some of the best minds in the world;
  • Our academic programs are ranked among the top nationally and internationally;
  • Our research enterprise has experienced explosive growth;
  • And – a critically important reason – we have some of the best and most passionate students in the world!

Throughout your time on campus, you have demonstrated an unyielding commitment to success – a commitment that has helped to fuel our university’s unprecedented momentum.

You have been part of a diverse community, one that celebrates individuality but is also defined by our shared values. We have concern for one another. We value integrity. And, we are committed to the pursuit of truth.

As you prepare to leave the university, I hope you will carry with you all you have learned over the course of your education – both inside and outside the classroom. 

I urge you to always keep an open mind and to be tolerant of differing points of view. But always remember: there is a huge difference between opinion and fact. We encounter opinions all the time, but we should not be too quick to form our own. We should listen to differing perspectives, especially the ones we think we may not agree with. And, we should carefully examine the supporting evidence. Then, it is our responsibility to sort through the viewpoints and the information and reach our own conclusion.

UMass has given you the tools to pursue truth.

I hope you continue to use them as you make your way into the world.

Go forth Class of 2017!

Live a fulfilling life.

And change the world.

Go UMass!