Dean Rose’s Welcome Message; 2018 Fall Semester
"It is my privilege to serve as your dean and to offer a few welcoming remarks on this occasion. It occurred to me while thinking about our convocation ceremony, that you know all of us, you and me, carry a heavy burden, a tremendous load like a heavy chain on our shoulders. It is the burden of our past. None of us is the person we were yesterday, last semester or last year. Those of you coming from other countries, you are not the person you were when you left home. However, we still carry this tremendous burden, the burden of our past that holds us back, it weighs us down. Can you feel it on your shoulders? Your past.
I would like to give you three things to think about as we start a new semester. First, you are not your failures; you are not the mistakes you’ve made in the past. Your mistakes are gone. And that little voice in your head that says “Oh no, not again...” that negative voice, it is not what defines you.
Secondly, and this may be a surprise, we are not our successes either. Yes, everyone here as enjoyed success or you wouldn’t be here; success in your school and other areas of your life. But you have to put it back into the past as well.
You know Bill Gates said that "Success is a terrible teacher because it seduces us into thinking that we can't fail". Your success in the past is dependent on the past. Sometimes when we are successful, we think that's what we have to do over and over again, repeating the same thing to get the same success. This holds us back, it keeps us from developing new talents, new ways of looking at the world.
Lastly what I want you to think about today is that you have a choice. We can move forward. The choices you make today will make you the person you will be tomorrow. This convocation ceremony represents a fresh start to the new semester, a new beginning. It is a chance to put the past behind us and look forward to the future. So I ask you today, throw off the chains, throw off the weight of your past and look to the future.
Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple and a billionaire at 30 years old got fired from the company he founded. Imagine how he must have felt, fired after all his success. In 2005, during his commencement speech at Stanford he said “getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again.” Can you feel the lightness of a new beginning?
Today is a new beginning, and I ask you, go forward, make choices for tomorrow, and don’t be held back by your past. Enjoy that lightness of a new beginning. Congratulations and welcome to SolBridge. We are so happy to have you."