One of the more rewarding and memorable duties of the Chair of the Alumni Association is to speak at Commencement. At the Graduate & Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies, I relayed greetings from the over 300,000 ASU alums around the world to the newest members of our alumni community. Over 10,000 graduated this Spring!! It was such an honor to represent the alumni association in the ceremony, meet some of the graduates, and hear their stories. One student survived cancer and a liver transplant; another was a 4.0 student, star on the ASU track team, and named outstanding graduate from both the W.P. Carey School of Business and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication; and one other student served in the military then came to Arizona to attend ASU and for a time lived in his car due to financial pressures. All of these students persevered and graduated.
When addressing the new graduates, I stressed the importance of remaining involved with ASU after graduation. Their experience as a student is short compared to their lifelong experience as an alum. I told them to take advantage of all the programs and services offered by the alumni association and encouraged them to attend a social or sporting event, participate in a career mixer, join an alumni association chapter or club, stay connected through the Arizona State Young Alumni program, or mentor a student. One easy way to get involved if they live in Arizona is to buy a Sparky Plate from the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department. Sparky Plate owners not only show their Sun Devil Pride, but they also provide funds for student scholarships as $17 of the $25 fee goes directly to the ASU Alumni Association’s Medallion Scholarship program which allows over 100 students each year to attend ASU.
I hope the new graduates act on my message of continuous involvement and engagement with ASU. By remaining involved in the life of the university you continue your road to personal development, enhance the value of your degree, support current students, carry on important traditions, and help advance Arizona State University to new heights. I've remained involved since my graduation in 1992 and it truly has enriched my life. Are you still involved? If you are -- thank you. If you're not, please find a personal way to re-engage with your alma mater.
Thank you and GO DEVILS!
Bill Kavan '92
Board Chairman, ASU Alumni Association