At each commencement ceremony I have had the honor to lead as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, more than 60 percent of our graduates are just like me - they are the first in their families to earn a university degree. The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is one of the smaller institutions in the prestigious University of Wisconsin System, but I assure you we make a very large impact.
As the first in my family to attend a university, I understand the responsibility associated with that opportunity and I appreciate the amazing rewards. The focus of this university, and the focus of my leadership will always be on helping all of our students succeed.
The University of Wisconsin Growth Agenda has as its vision the further development of the state's human potential; the creation of new jobs and careers; and strengthening our local communities. These goals align with the hallmarks of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside: Student Success, Academic Excellence, Diversity and Inclusiveness, and Community Engagement.
The UW-Parkside Promise, the university's strategic plan, establishes a clear path for the future success of the university and its graduates. The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is committed to providing the opportunity for a university degree to a diverse group of individuals. The academic excellence demonstrated by award-winning departments and individuals assures our graduates that they will be well prepared to meet tomorrow's challenges.
It is our responsibility to partner with our local and global communities to enhance the quality of life for everyone. And we're doing that with 20,000 alumni - many of whom live and work in southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois. These people are making a difference in our communities and they value their experience at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
Education changes lives.
Education opens doors to incredible opportunities.
Education is all about lifelong learning and lifelong leading.
I encourage you to visit us at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and see for yourself how we're changing lives.
Chancellor Deborah Ford