Dear Members of the University Community:

This month, we celebrated the graduation of more than 13,000 of our students. It was a splendid day, not just because the skies were clear and the temperatures were moderate, but because it marked a transformational moment in the lives of those who received their University of Illinois degrees.

We congratulate you graduates and we wish you great success as you use your Illinois education to live lives of fulfillment and impact.

We thank the faculty who taught and mentored each of our students and are grateful for your continued commitment to creating and sharing knowledge that improves life for everyone and that guides our next generation of leaders.

We are proud of the creative approaches, hard work, collegiality and dedication of our faculty, staff and students. We also want to recognize the intrinsic value of learning. As our Commencement speaker Nick Offerman said to our graduates, we should all maintain the attitude of a student, and, “If you're lucky, you will be surrounded by teachers for the rest of your life.” To the Class of 2017, as you take these next steps in your life’s journey, remember that your Illinois teachers will always be here for you – to delight in your accomplishments and offer encouragement when you face challenges.

And just as she was when you posed for a picture with her Commencement week, Alma Mater will always be ready to welcome you back to your university home with open arms. Remember, Homecoming is just around the corner. We hope to see you then!

Best wishes for an exciting and productive summer.

Robert J. Jones


John P. Wilkin
Interim Provost

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