I deeply regret that the current circumstances prevent us from celebrating your wonderful accomplishment in person. I do, however, wish to extend heartfelt congratulations from the Department of Philosophy to each of you, and to all the people in your life who have provided the support necessary for you to reach this important milestone. I have had the pleasure of both teaching and learning from at least some of you. I have great faith in your abilities and the highest regard for the education that you have received at the University of Illinois. The intellectual curiosity that a liberal arts education fosters and the analytical, critical, and leadership skills that it imparts will translate well to whatever career(s) you end up pursuing. But living a flourishing human life is also about a good deal more than making money or widgets. I believe firmly and wholeheartedly in the ability of a liberal arts education to improve and enrich people’s lives in ways that are not easily measured by income or earnings, and which include making them better citizens and members of their communities. I am confident that you will make us proud as you leave here to make your way in the larger world. It could use more of you.
Congratulations again, and best of luck to you all. Please stay in touch.
Prof. Kirk Sanders