May 18, 2017
Dear UT Community,
It is May and the members of the Class of 2017 are spending their last days as students on the Forty Acres before commencement. It is a time for reflection — for all of us.
There is a series of cut-out paintings by Henri Matisse that are currently on display in the Harry Ransom Center. They are beautiful, bold and vibrant. They look like this time of year. Matisse once said, “There are always flowers for those who want to see them,” and I think that message resonates right now.
Henri Matisse's Jazz in Stories to Tell: Selections from the Harry Ransom Center. Photo by Pete Smith.
Everyone on this campus — student, faculty member and staff member, alike — has experienced a great deal this semester. We’ve learned new things. We’ve been challenged in new ways. And, unfortunately, we’ve endured tragedies together and faced difficult questions about what defines us as a community.
But through it all, you have shown relentless creativity, passion and hard work in school and in your lives. I marvel at all you have accomplished.
Our university continues to grow and make progress, and it is because of every single one of you. Your enthusiasm, your thoughtfulness and your engagement elevate this institution. You are all a part of the history of The University of Texas.
So, I encourage you to enjoy this special time of year. You have a lot to be proud of.
And to the Class of 2017, my sincere congratulations on your milestone accomplishment — a University of Texas degree. I can’t wait to celebrate with you at your commencement this Saturday. Please make sure to check the commencement website for updates and information about the ceremony.