Kish celebrates fall commencement with a message of positivity.
On December 14, 155 of our 470 graduates joined us in celebrating their graduation from Kish. Commencement is the highlight of the year for those of us working in higher education, as we gather to celebrate the success of our students with their family and friends.
Given the Holiday Season, and the spirit of good will and kindness toward others, it seems appropriate to share the Commencement Address I delivered at graduation.
During my four years as President at Kish, I’ve seen changes and challenges - in our college, communities, state and nation. And there will be more. The rate of change continues to increase exponentially. The fourth industrial revolution, driven by technological change, is upon us.
Change is hard for all of us. We feel a loss of control; we fear the unknown. These feelings, and the resulting emotional responses, at times don’t bring out the best in us.
It seems right now, respect for each other, in all aspects of our world, is challenged - we see it in the media, in politics, and in society in general. The focus is often on what’s wrong, rather than what’s right. We work to hang on to what we have, rather than compromise.
As graduates, and future leaders, you have the ability, and opportunity to change the world, and influence others. Ask yourself - Who will you be? What will you stand for? Will you survive, or will you thrive? Will you support and encourage others, or will you cut them down? Will your glass be half empty, or half full?
You will always be a student of life, learning something new and different. How will you apply your new knowledge? How will you embrace change? How will you treat others that disagree with you or those that are different from you?
My challenge to you, graduates, is this:
Be positive. Focus on what is right. Be a part of the solution. If something is broken, fix it. If someone has ideas or perspectives different from yours, listen to them. If someone is in need, help them. Be kind to others - in your words, and actions.
Talk about the good things in life. It’s so easy to get caught up in the negativity. Rise above it.
I want to close with the words of Mahatma Gandhi:
“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”
Graduates, I wish you happiness and all the best in life.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Kishwaukee College.
Dr. Laurie Borowicz
President, Kishwaukee College