The following is the text of the graduation speech delivered by Economics Department graduate and new alum Katherine Gabriele to fellow graduates, faculty, families and supporters attending the 2017 graduation ceremony at the Mullins Center:
Fellow graduates, families, teachers, & supporters,
I am proud to stand before you today a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Economics Department. I would like to express gratitude to my family and all the wonderful professors of the Department
We graduate with a wide range of social scientific knowledge and the tools to build a fairer, more just, and more sustainable world. I hope that together we will not let this knowledge go to waste.
We enter a world of political turmoil. If you must be scared into action, let it scare you. If you must be inspired to act, let it inspire you. But we must act. Don’t let big business buy you as they have bought our politicians. Don’t trade your soul for material and social status. Stop co-signing the destruction of our planet. Our human compassion calls us to rise above a way of life dedicated to consumption and greed.
The time has come where radical economics must become popular economics. It is our responsibility to initiate the vital shift in consciousness needed to transform our economic system.