High Hopes05.06.2013 | Service and Giving, Catholic, Culture and Society, President
It's great to have a plan for your life, but "it is important to realize that plans inevitably need to be adapted. There is rarely a straight path to happiness," University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran told graduating seniors at spring commencement May 5.
Curran urged the Class of 2013 to bring passion to the workplace. "Joy, passion and optimism are not what you get when you get to the proverbial top; this is how you get to the top."
Curran advised students to "read the signs of the times, both positive and negative," take advantage of opportunities — and make a difference in the lives of others, particularly the less fortunate.
"Sometimes it will be easier to ignore the negative signs in our society and focus simply on getting ahead. But you must see the bad with the good and try to make a difference," he said. "At UD, we use the phrase 'Learn. Lead. Serve.' to express these ideas. You must look at the problems in the U.S. as well as beyond the boundaries of our own country and realize that the world's population faces problems of hunger, overcrowding, disease and more.
"Global progress," he said, "requires the efforts, big and small, of the peoples of all nations. …The signs are everywhere; don't let others be the ones to care."
The University of Dayton prepares students to become leaders who serve, "while ensuring that you are prepared for adaptation and change," Curran said. "I have high hopes for each of you. I trust that you will become community builders serving as responsible leaders, promoting justice and peace for all persons," he said.
The president reminded the newly minted graduates that doors open both ways. "This annual ritual always reminds me of an Alexander Graham Bell quote: 'When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.'
"You are ready for the next door. Walk through it. You have secured a great education and are ready to make a difference in the world," he said. "The fact is that both doors are open to you. UD will always be a significant part of your life, and I know you will be back."
In all, the University of Dayton conferred nearly 2,000 degrees during three weekend commencement ceremonies — law, graduate and undergraduate.