College of Arts and Sciences Dean Robin Schulze's 2017 Commencement speech to CAS graduate students entitled "Welcome to the Club!"
“Congratulations, graduates! And welcome to the club. You have completed what few people do, an advanced degree from a first class, world class research institution. That is a rare and extraordinary feat that sets you apart. On behalf of the College of Arts and Sciences of the University at Buffalo, I applaud you.
As you step out into the world after your graduate degree, I just want to remind you to be proud of your achievement. There are, you will find, plenty of people who just don’t understand why you bothered. Why did you spend all those years studying this or that, slaving in the lab, locked up in the library, hunched over the computer? What was the point?
Don’t forget that WE, the members of the club, the people who don these silly robes and pesky hoods that seem so odd, arcane, and hard to wear, WE know the point. WE love our subject matter. WE are determined to solve important problems. WE are driven to push the boundaries of what WE know. WE are absolutely, passionately committed to the idea that knowledge, and science, and art, and culture will NOT die on our watch. WE are going to pick all of this up, every piece of it, and carry it forward, no matter what, so that our children’s children’s children will still be here, thirsty for knowledge, ready to know more, discover more, learn more, and make us all proud to be human. That is the mission that you have taken on in the context of your degree. Don’t ever forget how important that mission is, and how much the members of this club at this great university appreciate and support it.”
-CAS Dean Robin Schulze, Commencement 2017