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Letter to the Class of 2016

College of Science class of 2016

Dear science graduates,

College graduation is a natural time to reflect on your journey, both personally, academically and in science. I imagine you have had quite a journey. I suspect it was not exactly as you thought it would be. There were probably some incredible surprises, transformative experiences, and of course, lots of learning. There were probably some difficult times and failures. There was likely a good deal of, personal growth. But I do know that you all worked hard to reach this day. Very hard. We are very proud of you. Congratulations!

I hope you have learned the joy of knowing. That is what drives us as scientists, the thirst for discoveries and making an impact. It’s what gets us up in the morning and keeps us up late into the night. I know that firsthand!

During your years at OSU, you may have struggled through some difficult classes, built strong relationships, faced adversity, and stretched yourself in ways you never imagined. You may have worked a part-time job or two. I bet you also led student clubs, conducted research, received awards, changed your major….maybe a few times, played an instrument or a sport. Maybe you interned. You studied abroad. You volunteered as a Learning Assistant. You learned from Professor Ahern’s Metabolic Melodies. You saw the Beavers win football, basketball and baseball games. Sometimes maybe even beating the Ducks. You've made lifelong friends with your classmates, advisors and professors. You may have surprised them and yourselves. You discovered what kind of impact you want to have to make the world a better place. My hope is that Science inspired you and gave you a sense of purpose and place.

As alumni, you will always be part of Beaver Nation and part of our OneScience community. Scores of biochemists, mathematicians, dentists, researchers, statisticians, physicists, biologists, teachers, microbiologists, chemists, leaders and lifelong learners graduate from here. You follow thousands who came before you, setting off to transform the world through science. But you will not follow in their footsteps. You will make your own path, your own journey, your own mark on the world. Your Class of 2016 is impressive. We have had the privilege to see you shine at OSU. Your accomplishments on campus hold the promise of amazing things to come.

I hope you will make the world a healthier place by curing disease, discovering ways to feed people and end hunger, creating better medicines, faster electronics, safer equipment, and more sustainable technology. All in all, to make our planet and people healthier. Maybe you will work in industry or create a new one. Maybe you will advocate for science to inform policy and decisions in Washington. And if you are following the political election process, you know we can use your help!

Our College’s mission is to advance science. And we do that through you—the next generation of leaders in science. No matter what major you studied, you are all part of our OneScience community. And we are all diverse. We all come from different backgrounds, different races, ages, ethnicities, genders and sexual orientation. Some of you are the first in your family to graduate from college. In our College, we believe there’s unity through diversity and there’s excellence through diversity.

Speaking of diversity, today our nation is saying goodbye to one of its greatest legends: Mohammed Ali. He once said: "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life." Powerful words. I hope you live by them and take risks in your life. Failure is OK. It’s what you do with it and how you grow and learn from it that defines who you are. As a statistician, I can tell you the odds of succeeding at everything you do the first time around, are not good. But, the odds of OSU Science graduates succeeding in life are outstanding!

Congratulations to all of our graduates and to the parents. You have done a wonderful job serving as your son or daughter’s mentor, supporter and cheerleader. Graduates, this is not the end of your journey. It is a new beginning. It’s your time. And you’re ready. You can do this!

As you transition from students to alumni, I expect that you keep in touch and share your successes with us. Drop us an email, or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. We want to hear from you. Once a Beaver, always a Beaver! Congratulations and go Beavs! Sastry G. Pantula Dean, College of Science

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