National YMCA Leader Tells Graduates ‘Times Demand That You Give Back Time, Talent...Treasure’May 16, 2004
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., May 16, 2004 -- At undergraduate ceremonies at Springfield College’s 118th commencement today, Kenneth L. Gladish, national executive director of the YMCA of the USA, told graduates, “In addition to living lives of full potential, of living lives open to the other, of living lives devoted to being trustworthy men and women of integrity, there is one final challenge that your generation faces in particular. That is the challenge of living a life of service. The American experiment...has been built on the voluntary spirit of its people. From the beginning of the Republic, we’ve been reminded of the centrality of voluntary and philanthropic action in America.
“In every place you live, in all of your family work, in all of your religious and cultural and civic lives, your talents are needed outside of the place which pays you a paycheck and provides a living for you and your family. The times demand that, in the midst of all else, that you give back time and talent and treasure; that you become part of that spirit which has animated American life for 200 years,” Gladish said.
Gladish spoke to 6,500 graduates, college officials and guests at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony on Blake Track on the campus. Earlier in the event, he received an honorary doctor of humanics degrees. Springfield College has, historically, awarded honorary degrees to a few outstanding individuals who, by their character and accomplishments, personify the college’s guiding philosophy, humanics. The philosophy emphasizes the dedication of spirit, mind and body for leadership in service to others.
At its 118th commencement, Springfield College awarded 630 bachelor’s degrees. In separate ceremonies on the campus yesterday, the college awarded 447 master’s and doctoral degrees, certificates of advanced study, and physician assistant certificates. Faculty, staff and students from Springfield College’s main campus and nine satellite campuses of its School of Human Services around the country participated in commencement events. The college’s 2004 graduates come from 29 states and 10 countries.