L.L. Bean Leader Addresses 2018 UNH Commencement


Bookmark and Share
Saturday, May 19, 2018
UNH commencement  2018 crowd

More than 2,500 undergraduate and 511 graduate students received degrees at the University of New Hampshire's commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 19, 2018. Credit: University of New Hampshire Communications and Public Affairs

DURHAM, N.H. – “As you all embark on this next chapter, no matter what your plans are or where they may take you, I wish for you to lead an adventure-filled life,” University of New Hampshire commencement speaker L.L. Bean Chairman Shawn Gorman ‘89 said during the university's  commencement held Saturday, May 19, 2018. More than 2,500 undergraduate and 511 graduate students — including 58 veterans, active military, National Guard and reservists — representing 39 states and 32 foreign countries received degrees.

“What does leading an adventure-filled life look like? Well first off, it will be different for each of you, because the first rule of leading an adventurous life is that it must be yours and yours alone to chart,” said Gorman, the second chairman in L.L. Bean’s century-plus history. “The lessons I offer are framed by three small but powerful words­­ –– outdoors, values and balance. Each one is key to living an adventurous and fulfilling life.”

Gorman urged the graduates to let the outdoors be a part of their life, to trust in their values to help guide decisions and to work to live, not the other way around.

In his welcoming remarks to graduates, their families and commencement guests, UNH President Mark Huddleston reminded them that while there is still work to be done, they are living at a remarkable time.

“Despite what seems like a relentless assault of depressing news, the fact is we are living at a remarkable time in human history,” he said. “The world is richer, healthier and more peaceful than it has ever been. Our air and water are cleaner. Global rates of poverty, hunger and illiteracy have dropped steadily. Is there more work to be done? Absolutely. And you are just the group of talented, compassionate and hard-working young people to do that work.”

“Leave here with optimism and with pride,” he said. “You live in the greatest country in the world. America is blessed with free markets that reward initiative, a long tradition of democratic governance, a deep commitment to the dignity and worth of every person and an abiding commitment to individual liberty.”

Andrew Lietz received the Granite State Award for his work in support of higher education in the state. A successful businessman, Lietz served as chair of the University System of New Hampshire board of trustees and the state’s Business and Industry Association. Believing that high-quality education was the basis for long-term growth, he shepherded the 2001 Knowledge Economy Education Plan for New Hampshire (KEEP-NH) through the legislature, helping to secure a $185 million package of capital renovations to the university system’s aging science, engineering and technology facilities.

Along with Gorman, Margaret Shea ’58, G’61, the first woman to earn an advanced degree in physics from UNH, and former Boston city councilor and mayoral candidate Tito Jackson ’99 received honorary degrees. Shea began her research career as an undergraduate, monitoring cosmic rays on Mt. Washington and in Durham. After brief stints at the University of Hawaii and AVCO Corporation, she joined the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories at Massachusetts’ Hanscom Air Force Base, where she forged a 50-year career researching the interplay between cosmic rays and the Earth’s magnetic field. Among other achievements, she developed the geomagnetic cutoff rigidity tables that are the international standard used by NASA and the FAA to determine radiation exposure of astronauts and airline crews in flight.

Jackson served in the administration of Deval Patrick, Massachusetts’ first African-American governor, served on the Boston City Council for seven years and mounted a historic campaign to become Boston’s first African-American mayor. While he ultimately lost to incumbent Marty Walsh, his 34 percent showing was regarded as groundbreaking. His passion for public service and political activism were forged at UNH, where he earned a degree in history. He played a central role in reviving the university’s Black Student Union, helped to spearhead efforts to increase campus diversity and was later voted student body president.

The University of New Hampshire is a flagship research university that inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top ranked programs in business, engineering, law, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. UNH’s research portfolio includes partnerships with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, receiving more than $100 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space. 

Editor's Notes: 

Photographs available to download: https://www.unh.edu/unhtoday/2018/05/unh-commencement-2018-press-release-images

Caption 1: Shawn Gorman ‘89, the second chairman in L.L. Bean’s century-plus history, delivered the speech at the University of New Hampshire commencement Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Durham.
Credit: University of New Hampshire Communications and Public Affairs 
 
Caption 2: President Mark Huddleston addresses the University of New Hampshire commencement Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Durham.
Credit: University of New Hampshire Communications and Public Affairs 

Caption 3: More than 2,500 undergraduate and 511 graduate students received degrees at the University of New Hampshire's commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 19, 2018.
Credit: University of New Hampshire Communications and Public Affairs

Caption 4: More than 2,500 undergraduate and 511 graduate students received degrees at the University of New Hampshire's commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 19, 2018.
Credit: University of New Hampshire Communications and Public Affairs

Caption 5: Elinor Purrier ’18, the most decorated athlete in the history of the University of New Hampshire, runs to join President Mark Huddleston on stage during UNH’s commencement.
Credit: University of New Hampshire Communications and Public Affairs

Speaker Remarks
Shawn Gorman ‘89
https://www.unh.edu/main/ll-bean-chairman-shawn-gorman-89-2018-commencement-remarks

President Mark Huddleston
https://www.unh.edu/main/president-huddlestons-durham-commencement-address-2018

May 2018 Graduates
https://www.unh.edu/unhtoday/news/release/2018/05/17/university-new-hampshire-announces-may-2018-graduates