UNH Celebrates 143rd Commencement

UNH Celebrates 143rd Commencement

Monday, May 20, 2013


Lt. Gen Mary legere

 Lt. Gen. Mary Legere

UNH commencement speaker Lt. Gen. Mary A. Legere '82 challenged graduates to dare to live their lives and their dreams during the university’s 143rd commencement held Saturday, May 18, 2013, when more than 2,500 undergraduate and 522 graduate students, including 68 military veterans, ranging in age from 19 to 67 years old and representing 29 states and 23 foreign countries, received degrees.

“They say in life that we make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give,” Legere said. “I urge you to leave this university with that in mind. The story of your life is going to be written as soon as you leave here.” She reminded students of the courageous acts shown at the Newtown tragedy and the Boston Marathon, and by a 19-year-old soldier who threw himself on a roadside bomb to save the lives of others.

“Look forward at what’s ahead and don’t worry so much,” said Legere, encouraging the graduates to embrace the challenges they will face. “Just go out and do your best.

“You’re going to worry about mistakes and failing. Don’t do either of those,” the Army’s chief of staff for intelligence said. And then she quoted Winston Churchill, who often has been credited with saying, “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”

UNH President Mark W. Huddleston told students they are “stepping into a future where your stars will burn even brighter,” calling them good people with good values who care about their community.

“Ultimately, success in life, regardless of the obstacles, is about strength of character.  It is about who you are at your core,” Huddleston said.

President Mark Huddleston
President Mark Huddleston

He cited recent examples of students who have shown that strength: Brandon Hall and Ashlei Brock who, with UNH director of athletic training Jon Dana, were among the first-responders aiding victims of the Boston Marathon; Chris Agresti, Danielle Bauer, Samantha Miller, Melissa Powers, Lynn Resendes, Connor Slein and Madeline Whitcomb, who rushed into action when a student went into cardiac arrest while exercising at UNH’s Hamel Rec Center.

And Cameron Lyle, the UNH track athlete who gave up the remainder of his senior season to donate bone marrow to someone afflicted with cancer.

“I believe that any one of you, faced with the same challenging circumstances, would have done the very same things. It is who you are.  It is why you will succeed.  The world is so lucky to have you,”   Huddleston said.

The Running Nuns from the St. Charles Children’s Home in Rochester and New Hampshire storyteller Fritz Wetherbee received UNH’s 2013 Granite State Awards, given in recognition of outstanding community service.

Gov. Margaret Wood “Maggie” Hassan, Andrew Lietz, former chairman of the University System of New Hampshire board of trustees, and Legere received honorary degrees.

A list of graduates can be found here:http://www.unh.edu/news/releases/2013/may/sw16graduates.cfm.