Good evening...It is my distinct honor to be here tonight and to bring greetings and congratulatory remarks on behalf of Pittsburg State University.  As President, it is my responsibility to ensure that this great institution stays focused on its mission of serving our students, the region, this great state, and, indeed, the world.  The graduates who we are recognizing today provide ample evidence that we are succeeding. 

As I speak to student groups, I often thank them for choosing Pittsburg State.  Today, I repeat that thank you to each and every one of you graduates.  I recognize that you could have taken your dreams and aspirations to many other institutions of higher education to be fulfilled, but you chose Pittsburg State.  Thank you sincerely for making that choice.  We have enjoyed having you here with us.

I want to echo Dean Meat's comments about the faculty in the College of Business and extend it just a little.  We are truly blessed with great faculty and staff throughout this campus.  Day in and day out they work to meet student needs by creating challenging, innovative, and relevant learning opportunities.  When I visit with alumni, and in a typical year I'll visit with a thousand or more of them, they never ask about buildings, or curriculum, or the dining hall.  You know what they ask about?  They ask about the people who helped them...the people who made a difference in their lives...the Pittsburg State faculty and staff.  So, I hope you will express your appreciation to the faculty, staff, and of course your families who have helped you achieve this degree.

 Please know that we are proud of you and your accomplishments, and we want to be proud of the accomplishments that lie ahead for you.  Stay in touch, continue to be a part of this great family.  We will continue to care about you and work to support you in the coming years, and we hope you'll do the same for us.  We want you to always, always feel a part of this university and that you regularly return to see how we're doing and to see if you can help.

 As a 1973 graduate of Pittsburg State and as faculty member since 1988, I have grown to love this place and what it stands for.  I hope those feelings become a part of your life and that your life is full of opportunities and successes that bring you great joy and fulfillment.  We recognize that what your life becomes reflects on Pittsburg State; so we are forever invested in and tied to you.  At the same time, we know that the future of Pittsburg State reflects on you and specifically, on the value of your degree.  We are committed to acting and achieving in such a way that you continue to be proud of us and that you share and celebrate our successes.  2011 graduates of the Pittsburg State University College of Business, we wish you the very best, and congratulations!!!

Let's give them a round of applause.