MAILED: Dec. 21, 2000
Winter graduates of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire have successfully accomplished their vision. Now its time to develop and work toward a new vision, Dr. Lucretia Mattson told candidates for bachelors and masters degrees during Saturdays commencement exercises.
Identify your vision, your desired future state. This vision will change as you experience life, as you mature, as you gain knowledge and as you develop your talents, Mattson said.
Mattson, associate professor of accounting and finance and recipient of the 2000 Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Service awards, delivered the Charge to the Class to the 685 candidates for degrees during morning and afternoon ceremonies in Zorn Arena. Her speech was titled On to the Future.
During her address, Mattson challenged students to think about their future goals, plan and work toward those goals, and use their talents to make the world a better place for others.
Where do you want to be in 10, 15 or 25 years? What do you want to do with your life? Mattson asked. Do you want to pursue a chemistry Ph.D., teach a six-year-old child to dance, help an injured person regain a normal life, coach the younger generation, improve the environment, or create beauty for others through music or artistic talent?
There are countless needs in the world, and we are obligated to use our talents and abilities to make a difference, Mattson said, adding that giving back to the community through volunteerism also is important.
Mattson continued by encouraging the students to incorporate their abilities into their vision for the future and work toward that vision.
Plan how you will accomplish your desired future state. What areas challenge you? Where is your expertise? Be thinking about your next move, and always remain flexible to change, she said.
Mattson also urged the graduates to be open to the unexpected and take a few calculated risks. An opportunity you never dreamed of will come along, and you must be open to the excitement and possibilities it presents. Consider what you can learn from it and the experiences you may gain, Mattson said.
Along the way, she said, do not take yourself too seriously. When we stop laughing, we stop living. Laughing improves our health, our outlook and our disposition, she said.
Finally, Mattson encouraged the graduates to be thankful. Nothing as significant as graduation is accomplished alone, she said.
Look around you. These are the people who supported you and encouraged you, who loaned you money as well as a shoulder to cry on when you needed it, who shared your small and large victories, and who laughed and cried with you. Thank them for their belief in you, and thank your Creator for giving you the abilities you have and will continue to use in the future.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Dec. 26, 2000