The following is a CSUAA Tony Bakale's, BBA '82, speech during the Spring 2010 commencement ceremonies.
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I know this is a special day for all of you, as well as your family and friends that have joined you here today. For the past two years I have immense honor to served as the President of the CSU Alumni Association. Although challenging at times, it has been a fulfilling two years. I have had a chance to work with great people on various projects, meet other Alumni that share my fondness for CSU and meet many of the graduates that are here today.
Sadly, as my term comes to an end, this is the last commencement I will attend in the capacity as President of the Alumni Association. Out of all the events I have attended, the Commencement ceremony brings me the most pride, joy and hope for the future.
As I look out over this year’s graduating class, I know in my heart that many of you in the coming years will accomplish great things and bring great pride to the University community and your fellow alums.
As a former student of CSU, I understand the hard work and dedication it has taken to get to this point in your lives. You have all traveled different paths, you’ve faced different adversities, and you’ve met different challenges along the way. But all of you in one way or another have travelled that journey together. That journey to graduation will be the common thread that binds all of you. From now on you will be Alumni of the great institution that is Cleveland State University. I hope you plan to carry this moniker through out your lives with the pride you feel today.
I know you will look back on your time at Cleveland State with fond memories of the friendships you’ve made, the challenges you’ve met and the goals you have accomplished. Hopefully, it’s those memories that will drive you to become loyal, dedicated and engage alumni. Because as alumni you’ll bear the responsibility to make the most of your degree, to succeed when success is difficult to accomplish and to remember no matter what the challenges, as a graduate of Cleveland State you are prepared to face and overcome them. The hopes of our community rest with you and your ability to be successful contributors to our revival and resurgence.
You should be extremely proud at this moment, but also, thankful, to all those who have help you get to this point, whether that be your parents, your family and friends or that favorite professor here at CSU.
I know they are all proud of you.
As you leave this hallowed institution and continue on with your lives, don’t forget those that helped you along the way and realize there will be many more that follow you who will need help too. As alumni, you should willingly do you part to help those students who follow you as best you can. For as our hopes for a better tomorrow rest with you, your hopes will undoubtedly rest with them.
Always remember that great universities like Cleveland State have as one of their cornerstones an active and engage alumni base. I am counting on each of you to do your part in the future to continue to make CSU a great institution.
Over the coming years, I look forward to meeting each of you on a much more personal level at alumni events, working on alumni projects, or around town being involved in the community. You carry the great responsibility to use your education to make yourselves, your community and your Alma Mater better. I am sure each of you will be up to the challenge.
In closing, it is my great pleasure, on behalf of the Alumni Association, to congratulate each of you for completing your degree. As a new graduate, you have earned the privilege to enter a supportive worldwide network of more than One Hundred Thousand proud Alumni. In the coming years I invite each of you to expand your network and stay in touch with the friends you have made at CSU by attending Alumni events and participating in the continued growth of Cleveland State.
As our newest graduates, I offer you our warmest welcome into the Cleveland State University Alumni Family.