Board Chair's Welcome at Commencement - Mary Powell

Sara Byers, left, with Board Chair Mary Powell

On behalf of the Champlain College Board of Trustees, it is my honor and pleasure to welcome each of you to the 137th Commencement of Champlain College.
I feel tremendous joy, and honor, to be among you for this momentous occasion.

You are graduating from an amazing institution. Champlain College is a place of contrasts. Founded in 1878, but unburdened by bureaucracy that can impede institutions that have been in existence for well over a century.

Like all of you, Champlain has nurtured its ability to adapt quickly to new forces. Your faculty developed programs that have provided you the most relevant education possible.

While we join you in being rightly proud of your College, we remain mindful that pride is best tempered by nurturing the agility, creativity, discipline and willingness to change that has enabled us to adapt with such success in our first 137 years.

This institutional agility, combined with innovation and optimism, creates an inextricable link between the College and all of you. That spirit of innovation and optimism links both the College, and now all of you, to both our origins and future. It will guide us as all we look to new challenges that will best position our graduates to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the marketplace.

Today, we will present honorary degrees to two outstanding individuals whose contributions through business and public service make them particularly deserving of recognition.

We take great pride in watching you, the members of the Class of 2015, become graduates. We extend to each of you our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous future.

I know the Class of 2015 joins me in expressing our heartfelt appreciation to all of you who have supported, mentored, and sacrificed in order to make this day a reality.
As an institution with a long history, we are grateful to those who came before us, and we are wiser from what we have learned.

We must now embrace our role as leaders and strive to make our world a better place. To the Champlain College Class of 2015 - Congratulations

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit