| 03.20.2018

Wise words to carry on

Smith to speak at graduation

Many seniors, who put in countless hours of studying and hard work over the years, will walk across the stage in front of their family, friends and peers to shake hands with University of Idaho administrators as they receive their degree Saturday.

Robert “Bob” Smith, UI associate vice president of the Idaho Falls campus, said he is humbled to preside over the ceremony as commencement speaker and hopes students will take his advice.

“The completion of a degree is something to be celebrated and it is an accomplishment to be proud of,” Smith said. “But it represents the beginning of the journey, not the end of it, and that as a graduate at the University of Idaho, you’ll be prepared for a lifelong learning and to make a difference in society.”

Fall Commencement begins at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Kibbie Dome. Cara Hawkins, UI spokeswoman, said UI will host approximately 416 out of the 747 graduating students in the ceremony, with a reception hosted by the President’s Office to follow.

Smith, who is also associate director for the Center of Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), said he was quite surprised, yet honored, to speak at this year’s commencement.

“It is recognition from the university to do so, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to say something that will be of value to the students that are graduating this year,” he said.

Smith hails from West Linn, a suburb of Portland. He went to Oregon State University, where he received his undergraduate degree in geology.

Smith later went on to obtain a master’s degree in geochemistry and a Ph.D. in geosciences from the New Mexico Institute of Technology.

Katherine Aiken, UI interim provost and executive vice president, said UI’s commencement ceremonies are typically a time to display leadership from within the Vandal family.

“As a highly respected researcher and leader at our Idaho Falls center and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, Dr. Smith is a perfect choice to speak to our graduates,” Aiken said. “Dr. Smith has led our mission of research, teaching and outreach in southeastern Idaho with great success. I’m confident that our graduates will take away a great deal of insight and inspiration from his message.”

Although Smith said he can’t give away the main points of his speech, he is looking forward to spending time in Moscow and to be reminded of the impact UI has on so many lives.

Emily Mosset can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu

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