To Spring 1997 Graduates and Families

Dear Friends:

Beginning, and ending, and beginning anew--this ageless rhythmic cycle defines and renews our lives. I invite you to participate in Spring Commencement exercises at The University of Texas at Austin, the annual ritual which marks not only the triumphant culmination of our students' academic programs, but also the new beginnings we face in the life-long odyssey for truth and meaning.

   Commencement is a time for all of us--parents and children, teachers and students, administrators and staff, friends and family--to pause for a moment beneath a great arc of fireworks and the victory lights of UT's Tower to glance back on the experiences that have brought us to this high place of learning and achievement. From that vantage point we can look ahead to the challenges and opportunities before us and see in them the profound and pivotal role of higher education. Our weekend program also culminates UT's Year of the Child, an institution-wide initiative focused on improving the lives of children in Texas and everywhere. In that endeavor we have been rejuvenated by the enthusiasm and optimism of the young. The infectious spirit of youth will imbue our Commencement activities on a fine May weekend--a fitting farewell to our degree candidates.

   The 114th Spring Commencement of The University of Texas at Austin salutes the Graduating Class of 1997 and pays tribute to the many people who have made their graduation possible. Please join with us as together we celebrate our students' achievements and bright futures. Sincerely,

Robert M. Berdahl

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19 December 96
The University of Texas at Austin
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