| 03.17.2018

Saying goodbye to graduates — UI celebrates the graduation of over 600 students

As the semester nears its end, many students look forward to a break before hitting the books again next year. However, for some students, their time in college has come to an end.

On Saturday, nearly 600 University of Idaho students celebrated commencement in the Kibbie Dome.

The 123rd commencement ceremony began with music from a wind ensemble as the faculty formed a tunnel for the future graduates to walk through.

UI President Chuck Staben said that out of the 4,000 universities in the U.S., 47 have an eagle as their mascot, around have 40 bulldogs and fewer than five have broncos.

“But in all higher education, across all 4,000 of those institutions, in all those classrooms, in all those football stadiums, there’s really only one Vandal,” Staben said.

Staben said being a UI graduate is unique.

“Vandals are explorers, whose curiosity and innovative spirt develop a whole person to be a contributing citizen in this rapidly changing world,” Staben said.

Janet Nelson, vice president of research and economic development gave a commencement speech to the crowd. Nelson said the life lessons she wanted graduates to know come from racing sailboats.

The first lesson was, “you have to lead,” Nelson said. Nelson said graduates should take initiative and get in the game. Her second lesson was that the path to one’s destination is likely not a straight line. She said graduates will have to adapt their attitudes to keep on track with their goals because life presents challenges.

The third life lesson was, “you’re going to get wet,” Nelson said.  This lesson meant graduates need to push themselves so they can grow.

“You might have to heave,” and “Rule 55 applies at all times,” Nelson said where the fourth and fifth life lessons. Nelson said the fourth lesson meant one must recognize when it becomes necessary to take a break, but never quit.

She said the latter referenced rule 55 in sailing guides. Rule 55 is “a competitor will not intentionally throw trash overboard,” Nelson said. This lesson meant to leave the world in better shape than it is now.

Four honorary degrees were handed out  — two in administration science, one in natural resources and one agricultural science. Two students also took the oath of office for the military during the ceremony.

The ceremony ended with a few words from ASUI President McKenzie MacDonald. MacDonald said to remember what graduates had learned from their time at UI and to go make the world a better place.

Kali Nelson can be reached at arg-news.uidaho.edu or on Twitter @kalinelson6

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