UCSB is sending off its 2012 graduates — nearly 6,000 in all — this weekend.
“A decade from now I wonder what the age of big data will look like,” he said. “I wonder of our complex understanding of engineering and biology that will help us confront cancer and disease. I look forward to the technology that will sustain our energy demands but I particularly look forward to how you will play a role in this.”
The most important questions that lies ahead of today’s graduates are why they chose the path of education and why do they need to change the status quo, mechanical engineering graduate Elan Frantz said. The Wright Brothers weren’t the most educated or well known, he said.
“But they shaped the future of the airplane because they believed in their dream, relentlessly pursued it and defied the odds,” Frantz said. “During my time at UCSB, I’ve seen passionate people with little experience defy the odds to pursue their own dreams. Together we promoted social justice, started nonprofits, invented new technology and found answers to questions others were only beginning to think about.”
Frantz has also seen students exercise civic ethics and hard work at the library, on the fields and among friends, he said.
“But it’s only at UCSB that you can find a half-naked construction worker running through the library with a handlebar mustache drinking a Four Loko from a coconut,” Frantz said. “Parents you know if this is your kid.”
Chancellor Henry Yang said the university has an established undergraduate program that will serve the graduates well.
“We are here to honor your accomplishments and celebrate your hard-earned degrees,” he said. “You met the high standards of our university and I can tell you starting today and for the rest of your life you will be proud to say you are graduates of the University of California, Santa Barbara.”
The university will start its College of Creative Studies commencement at 11 a.m. Sunday at Campbell Hall.
“Maya Angelou said that you should pursue the things you love doing and do them so well that they can’t take their eyes off of you,” Frantz said.