DURHAM, N.H. – Being optimistic and daring to dare were the messages given during the University of New Hampshire’s 140th commencement Saturday, May 22, 2010, where 2,200 graduates from 35 states and 17 countries received degrees.
“Be entrepreneurial. See the possibilities and not the limits. Create. Build. Make,” said President Mark Huddleston who went on to say, “This is an entrepreneurial university in an entrepreneurial state. UNH does not mass-produce worker bees for soulless slots in faceless bureaucracies. UNH develops thinkers and doers.”
Commencement speaker Bert Jacobs of Life is good, told students to be optimists, saying they should look at the glass as half full, noting that only one percent of the people in the world get to go to college.
“You are lucky. You are lucky dogs,” Jacobs said. After talking about the state of the job market, he went on to say, “Life may not be easy for graduates of 2010 but let me tell you, life is good.”
His advice: be optimistic; simplify and give to a worthy cause.
“The richness you get from giving, that’s priceless,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs co-founded Life is good, an apparel and accessories company known for optimistic messages, with his brother John in 1994. Today the $100 million company sells its products in 4,500 retail stores nationwide and in 30 countries around the world. The Boston and Hudson, N.H.-based company does no product advertising and attributes 100 percent of its growth to customer word-of-mouth.
Granite State Awards were presented to former state representative Dudley Webster Dudley and Mary Christine (Chris) Dwyer of RMC Research Corporation. The award honors New Hampshire citizens, agencies, corporations, and foundations whose achievements and/or extraordinary service have made significant beneficial contributions to the state.
NASA astronaut Lee Morin and Jacobs, received honorary degrees.
Morin (‘74, G ‘78), a naval flight surgeon, was selected as a NASA astronaut candidate in 1996 and took part in the 13th space mission of the shuttle Atlantis in 2002 as it traveled to the international space station. He is currently assigned to the exploration branch of the Johnson Space Center where he is working on NASA’s newest spacecraft, the Crew Exploration.
Commencement Address, Mark Huddleston, UNH President
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling more than 12,200 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.