AMHERST, Mass. – At the 93nd 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, leaders in the sustainability movement and the latest proud addition to a long-standing family of graduates who support each other. The students in six majors received associate of science degrees in Bowker Auditorium today.
Degrees were awarded to 10 graduates in arboriculture and community forest management, seven in equine management, 11 in sustainable food and farming, 10 in sustainable horticulture, 11 in landscape contracting and eight 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 their parents, friends and others who supported them in reaching their goals.
Subbaswamy told the graduates, “As I look out at all of you, it is exciting to know that as you head off into the world, you will play a critical role in our future. For in the decades to come, as our global society increases its focus on areas such as food supplies, sustainable agriculture, and climate change, your leadership and expertise will play a key role in developing and implementing solutions.”
He added, “As a graduate of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture you will be well prepared for these challenges.”
Subbaswamy also reminded the graduates that the Stockbridge School has the most loyal alumni in the university.
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 maintaining those accomplishments.