Class of 2011 Convocation

Remarks from Dean Lynn Videka

Governor Patterson, Trustees Silver and Bram, Chief of Staff Yu, faculty, staff, family members, friends, and graduates, welcome to the Silver School of Social Work’s 2011 Convocation, the 51st graduating class of our proud School.

Graduates, you are an amazing group. You come from over 30 states and 10 different countries from California to Connecticut - and from Slovakia to Peru. Your class represents an ideal of the School, lifelong learning. Some of you are 22 years old, others range in age from 23 to 60 and beyond. You represent many ethnic and racial groups. Thirty five percent of you are changing careers - having been actors, teachers, financial analysts, marketers, and more! Many of you have already demonstrated your commitment to service to humanity through your previous experience in the Peace Corps, Teach for America, Citi Year Corp, and many other service oriented organizations.

Graduates, you come from every walk of life...with a common purpose - to be a proud graduate of the Silver School of Social Work and to be a social worker who can transform lives and transform society, making our world a better place.

En route to this proud goal, you shared many experiences together…

  • You struggled to come to a deep understanding of the profession of social work and to learn about aspects of our profession that you were unaware of.
  • You learned the complex biological, societal, and psychological forces that shape human behavior.
  • You learned how historical societal forces such as slavery, racism, and oppression shape personal experiences.
  • You learned that who you are affects your work with your clients. You learned to use your unique qualities in a constructive way to change people and to change society.
  • You learned how science is shaping social work. Some of you will produce tomorrow’s scientific knowledge four our field.
  • You accepted the awesome responsibility to work with clients to change their lives in your field placements.
  • You learned the latest and the classic intervention approaches.
  • You experienced how creating a community of students and scholars was vital to support your learning, your work with clients, and your growth as a professional social worker.

Graduates, guests, and fellow faculty, please join me in recognizing the accomplishments of the Class of 2011.

Thank you, and now we will welcome Diane Yu, deputy to President John Sexton. Diane is a great friend of the School and a leader in our University.