IUPUI Commencement

Creating a Legacy of Hope

May 11, 2019
Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, Indiana


President McRobbie, university trustees, parents, partners, friends, colleagues: I am pleased to present the Class of 2019. That has a nice ring to it. How about this: every time I say Class of 2019, I want to hear you roar as loudly as you can. Let's try it, Class of 2019.

Today is a great day for a graduation.

Here, in the crossroads of America. In the capital of Indiana — the home of the Indy 500 and the Indiana Fever. Here in Lucas Oil Stadium where One Direction, Beck, and Taylor Swift have shared their musical talents.

You are graduating on the home field of the Indianapolis Colts where they will continue to seek revenge on the New England Patriots.

IUPUI's 50th Anniversary: Then and Now

This commencement comes at a milestone moment in the life of IUPUI. We are concluding our 50th Anniversary year, so this is a very special ceremony for this Class of 2019.

It is appropriate to say a word of tribute to the great statesman Senator Richard Lugar, who passed away late last month. Fifty years ago, when Senator Lugar was serving as Mayor of Indianapolis, his vision and leadership led to the creation of our campus. We are deeply grateful for his commitment to public service, to the city of Indianapolis, and to the peaceful cooperation upon which our world depends.

At IUPUI's first official commencement, we celebrated 917 graduates.

Today, we are celebrating the outstanding achievement of more than 7,000 graduates in the Class of 2019.

After years of hard work, you have finally reached this great moment that will take you into the next phase of your lives: a new job, a new family, a new place to call home.

Chancellor Paydar delivers his remarks at the 2019 IUPUI Commencement Ceremony.

As leaders of today and tomorrow, you are creating a legacy of hope that grows out of your education.

Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar

Chancellor Hine's Daydreams

This moment makes me think about IUPUI's early days as a campus back in 1969. That was the year Sesame Street was born, the year the first jumbo jet took flight, the year humans first landed on the moon.

We had soared to such heights in 1969. Who could imagine us reaching higher?

I can almost see IUPUI's first chancellor Maynard K. Hine sitting behind his desk after the lunar landing, daydreaming about where his campus would be in the next fifty years.

Could Chancellor Hine have imagined that fifty years later, IUPUI would be home to students from all 92 Indiana counties, from all 50 states, and from 144 different countries?

Chancellor Hine was a dentist, but could he have known that roughly 80% of dentists in Indiana are now trained right here at IUPUI? Could he have predicted that we would have the nation's first School of Philanthropy, the only Motorsports Engineering program in the country, the largest School of Medicine, and one of the largest schools of nursing in the nation?

Could he have foreseen that we would grow into a multi-million dollar groundbreaking research enterprise.

I'm sure Chancellor Hine would have been as proud as I am of the more than 200,000 students who have graduated from IUPUI since 1969. They have gone on to help lead our nation and our world. I have equally high hopes for today's graduates, this Class of 2019.

Creating a Legacy of Hope

As our student speaker mentioned a moment ago, in just a few short minutes, many of you will be moving your tassels from the right to the left as you join this group of college graduates.

This simple act, which takes only seconds, symbolizes so much: hard work, long hours, deep thought ... and hope:

Hope that we can work together to strengthen our communities.

Hope that the next generation will continue the journey towards prosperity and justice.

Hope that together we can build a better future.

As leaders of today and tomorrow, you are creating a legacy of hope that grows out of your education.