Transcript of Chancellor's Remarks at Stockbridge Commencement

Prepared Remarks by Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy
Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts Amherst
95th Commencement
May 13, 2017


Good morning! Welcome to all of our families and friends as we celebrate the 2017 Stockbridge School of Agriculture Commencement.

And, of course, “Congratulations!” to our graduates.

In recent years, our campus has experienced unprecedented momentum, climbing higher in the national ranking than any other university. We are – by almost any measure – the fastest rising major public research institution in the country. 

The Stockbridge School of Agriculture plays a significant role in this success. U.S. News and World Report currently ranks the school 8th in the world of all agricultural universities – and 3rd in the United States.

This impressive standing on a global stage reflects the historical heart and soul of Stockbridge: our students.

Each one of you shares a passion for a science as old as humanity.

And, each one of you is an intellectual descendant of Levi Stockbridge, our first professor of agriculture, as well as the first twenty-seven agricultural students to graduate from the university in 1871, when we were known as the Massachusetts Agricultural College.

Working with your dedicated faculty – all of whom share your passion – you challenge Stockbridge to continually evolve, ensuring we remain competitive almost 150 years after those first twenty-seven agricultural students graduated.

Through your commitment, you have prepared yourselves to meet the new needs of agriculture as they emerge in the years ahead. And in doing so, you have contributed to the historic success of Stockbridge and the entire university.

Now, you ready to head off into the world. I know you will be busy. The role of agriculturally related disciplines is every bit as critical today as it was at the inception of the university 1863.

In this quickly changing and increasingly complicated world, more so than ever, societies around the global need your passion, your expertise and your vision. I speak for everyone in this room, and the entire campus community, when I say how proud we are of your accomplishments and how thankful we are for your commitment.

You connect us to our past and you ensure our future. So, as you make your way in the world, remember that Stockbridge alums, as a whole, are a loyal group and I ask you to continue this tradition: Stay in touch with your classmates and come back and visit campus as often you can. You are an important part of this campus.

Congratulations Stockbridge Class of 2017!  Thank you and “GO UMASS!”