Remarks to the Class of 2022

President Laura Bloomberg processing in Spring 2022 Commencement ceremony.
President Bloomberg addressed the graduating Class of 2022 on May 14, 2022 in the Wolstein Center. Her remarks appear below as prepared for the morning and afternoon ceremonies.

Class of 2022, congratulations! We couldn’t be more proud of your accomplishments and the spirit of perseverance that brought you to this day.

To the family members and friends here to celebrate these students and to those of you watching from home, we are glad that you’re with us on this special day.

Graduates, as you reflect on your experience at Cleveland State, there are a few phrases that I’m guessing you wouldn’t mind if you never heard again. For instance, you might be glad if you went the rest of your lives without hearing the words midterms or final exams or maybe the phrase 8 a.m. class.

But there are other messages you’re hearing today that I hope never grow old: congratulations; you deserve this; you set a goal for yourself, and you achieved it; be proud of yourself.

And then, let’s face it: there are other terms and expressions that will, for better or worse, be forever tied to this graduating class of 2022. Expressions like: attending college during unprecedented times, global pandemic, remote learning, and emerging into a new normal.

In the past few academic years, you have had to routinely adapt to the changing conditions of a global pandemic. You’ve had to attend classes while observing new rules and procedures and guidelines that you as students have never had before. We as educators hadn’t either, and sometimes those guidelines changed with dizzying frequency.

While global pandemic, unprecedented times, and emerging into a new normal do in part describe your college experience, they do not define you. 

Here’s what I believe defines our graduating class of 2022: determined, flexible, patient, resilient, adaptive and learner.

One of my favorite 20th century writers and philosophers is a guy named Eric Hoffer.

We would all – students, teachers and community members alike – do well to heed this cautionary message:

“In times of great change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

The skills you developed as a student during unprecedented times – your capacity to learn and adapt, to roll with the punches, to be resilient – will serve you well over your lifetime. You are prepared to inherit the future not because you know everything, but because you are learners.

None of us follows the path of learning alone. We have teachers, mentors, advisors and guides all along the way. This is the special gift of our faculty who are dedicated to your success.

Will my fellow faculty members please rise?

Graduates, please join me in thanking these professors — and lifelong learners themselves — who have meant much to you on your learning journey.

Thank you, faculty.

[President Bloomberg leads graduates in applause]

Graduates, you’ve also got a village surrounding you – those people in your network of supporters who encourage you and give you strength – parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters, spouses and children, family and friends. Perhaps they’re here with us or watching us live from their home.

Please take a moment to show them your gratitude.

[President Bloomberg leads graduates in applause]