Thank you President Qayoumi, the Board of Trustees, and the CSUEB family for this recognition. I am deeply grateful to CSUEB for conferring an Honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, upon me. I am overwhelmed by this gesture and accept this recognition with all humility.
The real story here though is not about me, but about the opportunities and possibilities that were created as a result of attending this university. I would like to thank all of those who are responsible for creating the environment that has resulted in CSUEB becoming a regional center of innovation and a gateway to educational excellence for all those that seek higher education with the desire, passion and commitment to working hard to gain the skills necessary to be successful in today's world.
While I have been fortunate to have had a successful career in the high tech industry, it was through family, friends, professors, and professional associates that encouraged, helped, supported, and yes, sometimes pushed me to take advantage of what was possible. I learned that if you were well prepared and worked hard, the doors to success could be opened. Without that little nudge, encouragement, or that extra push, the results might have ended very differently.
All of you that are graduating today know how important support and encouragement from others is in trying to successfully accomplish your goals. Please spend today congratulating yourselves on a job well done! Celebrate with your families and friends; enjoy your successes and the new opportunities and possibilities now in front of you because of your hard work here at CSUEB.
As you take your rightful position as our leaders of tomorrow, work hard, reach far, achieve your goals, and along the way remember those that have helped you achieve your successes and think about how you may help others to experience similar opportunities as you have had.
I invite and challenge you to commit yourselves to "giving back;" whether that be through volunteering your time, providing expertise or resources if possible, to continuously improve the opportunities for those who will follow you at this university. Please, reach out and lend a helping hand so they too can achieve their goals. Remember we all had support along the way.
Welcome to the group of over 100,000 graduates who have passed through this university! Make yourself proud, make your families proud, and make this university proud by not only seizing the opportunities that await you in the world you have prepared for, but remembering how important it is to fuel and strengthen the circle of support around you.
I wish you well and good luck in your pursuits now open to you as graduates of CSUEB. Congratulations Class of 2010!