May 24, 1998
The graduates of the class of 1998 find themselves in a world that is like none other seen in past decades-a world where the impossible is achieved every day
That was the message delivered by graduating senior Luana Burlingame in her commencement address at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls on Sunday. Some 470 undergraduates and 46 graduates participated in the ceremony at the Robert P. Knowles Physical Education and Recreation Center on May 24.
During the ceremony, associate Professor David Pepi was recognized as the 1998 Distinguished Teacher. Reading education specialist Dr. Robert Dykstra, a 1957 elementary education and guidance graduate, was recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus.
Burlingame, an accounting major from St. Paul, marks the third student in University history to deliver the commencement address. She was chosen through a speaking competition open to all commencing seniors.
"We have left the Age of Industrialization and have entered into the Age of Information. The changes in communications have made a new, wonderful world," Burlingame said, stressing that communications are no longer a wonder of technology, but a part of daily life. "With the power of this technology, we must find ways to share our resources globally."
Technology has made it easy to talk to and see one another , to share thoughts, knowledge, and beliefs. Burlingame said that it must be just as easy then to share food and clothing, and to make homes stronger and still comfortable without the destruction of precious resources.
The endless opportunities in technology, communications and medicine have also created a dimension of responsibility-a responsibility to create only those changes that can improve life, and fto urther the greatness of the human spirit, she said.
Burlingame recognized families and responsible education for molding the values that she considers the bridge between the call to opportunity and the responsibility to do right. She thanked the families for their guidance, and for teaching traditions that "anchor us in these rapidly changing times." She expressed her gratitude toward the University and the faculty for the education that will be the basis for intelligent decisions as working people of the future.
Conferring degrees were Chancellor Gary A. Thibodeau; Dean Kathleen Daly of the College of Education & Graduate Studies; Dean Neal Prochnow of the College of Arts & Sciences; and Associate Dean Stephen Ridley of the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences.
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