“Be courageous” was the charge that Christopher M. Dadlez, president and chief executive officer of Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Conn., gave to the approximately 400 members of the University of Hartford’s Class of 2013 who were receiving advanced degrees at the University’s Graduate Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 18.
“For most of us, ‘courage’ seems like a topic too big, too grand, to fit into the narrow confines of our daily lives. I am here today to suggest that, of all the traits that we admire and want to emulate, courage should be — in fact, must be — at the very top of the list,” said Dadlez.
“Courage changes us. It makes us better on the inside because it makes us live our values,” he said. “Do what is right, what takes courage, no matter what the consequences,” he urged the graduates. “And every time you do, you will become a better person — and the world around you will become a better place.”
Prior to his remarks, Dadlez was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University.
More than 400 students received master’s and doctoral degrees during Saturday’s ceremony, including the first graduating class from the University’s Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics program. (Nearly 1,100 students will receive bachelor’s and associate’s degrees at the University’s Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 19.) See more facts and stories about the Class of 2013 here.
“Today is a day to recognize you for what you have accomplished,” University President Walter Harrison told the graduates. “I, however, want to suggest that you look at it differently. Today is a day to look forward to all you will do with the degrees you have earned and the knowledge you have acquired to make this a better world.
“This has not been the easiest of years, between the real tragedies in Newtown and in Boston. There have been many things that would make us step back and wonder about our future, but today, with this really joyous celebration, this demonstration of the real possibilities of human accomplishment, I personally feel very reinforced that the future of our world will exhibit the kind of courage that Chris Dadlez urged us to follow,” said Harrison.
“I rejoice in this knowledge, that each of you, in your own way, some in roles that lead many other people and some in ways that will individually touch people’s lives —and some in both ways — will use what you have learned here to change our world,” Harrison said.
Chartered in 1957 with the mission to be a “private university with a public purpose,” the University of Hartford offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in the arts, humanities, business, engineering and technology, education, and the health professions. The University’s student body of more than 7,000 represents 45 states and nearly 60 countries. For more information, visit www.hartford.edu.