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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Grads to hear difference of ‘me’ vs. ‘we’ goals


Courtesy of United States Department of State

Jon Huntsman Jr. is the former governor of Utah, U.S. ambassador to China and 2012 presidential candidate. Huntsman will be the keynote speaker for 2015 Spring Commencement on May 16 at Arizona Stadium.

Fireworks will fill the air above Arizona Stadium on Saturday in honor of the graduating Class of 2015. Commencement marks the time that these students will ceremonially leave the university with degrees in hand. It is an important moment for graduates and their families, and this year, the UA is pulling out all the stops.

The night begins with a pre-ceremony put on by the Department of Marketing, which will be followed by the entrance of the graduates and doctorate students at 5:30 p.m. The 7:30 p.m. main ceremony comes after the processional, which includes speeches by President Ann Weaver Hart and Jon Huntsman Jr., the keynote speaker for the ceremony.

Cameron James, an employee at the office of enrollment management, said there will be around 7,200 students graduating with about 5,000 in attendance at the nationally recognized ceremony.

“It is a culmination of their experience at the University of Arizona,” James said.

The experience is capped off by a speech from Huntsman, the former governor of Utah, U.S. ambassador to China and 2012 presidential candidate.

“Jon is a great match for the institution,” said Teri Lucie Thompson, senior vice president of university relations. “He represents a lot of what we want to try to communicate to students.”

Huntsman went through a nomination and vetting process, with students and faculty ultimately making the decision.

In Huntsman’s case, his long service to the U.S. in various roles made him an ideal candidate. Thompson said the university tries to bring people who will inspire students.

“I believe in public service,” said Huntsman, who is not being compensated for speaking. “This is a public service for me.”

He has been involved in the trade side of foreign relations, as well as representing the country overseas as an ambassador to China. His focus as a politician has been on bridging gaps between the two parties, finding common ground and fostering relations between the two groups.

“There is no greater thrill in public service than winning the will of the people,” he said.

In the states, Huntsman works with No Labels, an organization dedicated to changing the culture on Capitol Hill. It is a bipartisan team that meets regularly to talk about setting goals for the nation.

Huntsman said goals are an important aspect of national policy, as well as personal policy.

He plans on incorporating this focus into his speech and hopes to inspire graduates to set goals for themselves and attain them. He intends to highlight the difference between “me” goals and “we” goals — or personal goals and the country’s goals.

Huntsman had words for students finishing their time at the UA and moving into the workforce: “Lead with your head, but follow your heart,” he said. “Your heart will never let you down.”


Follow Erik Kolsrud on Twitter.

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