School of Engineering

Graduation Commencement 2005 Speech

Speech from the Director of School of Engineering, Shy-Shenq, Liou, PhD

Good morning friends and families of the School of Engineering. It is so gratifying to see so many people here today.

First of all, let me welcome everyone to our first ever Graduation Ceremony for the School of Engineering at San Francisco State University. Today is indeed a happy day for our graduating seniors, their families and friends, faculty and staff.

Next I would like to thank the graduation organizing committee members: Rochelle Underwood, Zachary Nosker, Maria Flores and Mike Strange. Without their hard work, we would not be here today to celebrate this happy event. Thank you, Rochelle, Zach, Maria, and Mike.

Now I would like to ask all the graduating master and undergraduate students to stand up and remain standing.

Faculty, staff, families and friends, please join me in saluting these graduates for their dedication, hard work, perseverance, and wonderful accomplishment. What an excellent job you have done!

Graduates, now please join me to thank your families, friends, faculty, and staff for their patience, support, and sacrifices in helping you through your study. Thank all of you. --------- Please be seated.

I realize this is the last chance I have to lecture you before you graduate. I want to take advantage of this golden opportunity so I prepared a 75 minutes speech to help you remember me for the rest of your lives. Luckily, my wife Vivian talked some sense into me so I would like to speak to you from my heart instead.

We have been interviewing candidates for our new faculty positions for the last few years. Almost every candidate we invited for interviews asked me the same question: Why did you choose San Francisco State University? This is what I told them:

I wish I could show you the joy I can see from our students' eyes when they apply what they have learned in the last few years to design, build, and test their engineering projects successfully. I wish I could tell you the sense of pride I can feel in our students when they earn a B in courses they took while working 40 hours a week to support their families. I wish I couldan demonstrate to you the confidence our students exhibit when they present their senior projects to our President, Provost, and Dean during the College of Science and Engineering Project Show Case event. I wish I could make you understand how well I myself have learned from our hard working students that lack of resources is NOT an excuse for failure, and that acceptance of the status quo is the best medicine for being mediocre. Education is never a one-way street. We, professors and students, teach each other so we become better people.

The faculty are extremely proud of this year's graduates. Our Arch Wood Bridge Team won first place in the National Wood Bridget Competition. The Truss Wood Bridge Team won fourth place, beating out Oregon State University, Virginia Tech University, and many others. Our Human Power Vehicle team won 5th place beating out San Jose State University, CSU Fresno, UCLA, and other well-known universities. Our Netcar team won second place in our College of Science and Engineering Project Show Case competition.

Furthermore, one of our EE graduate has a patent application in progress; the City of San Francisco and PG&E are fighting each other to hire one of our EE graduates. Two of our Civil Engineering students were hired over graduates from UC Berkeley by a well-known Environmental Company because our students are better. The list goes on and on. In short, you make us proud! Great job!

On behalf of all faculty and staff, I would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to teach you and for all the joys we derived from you.

Now you are about to graduate. You will forever become the member of the School of Engineering family. We will contact you from time to time to ask your opinion on how to improve our program to further benefit future engineering students. Please help us to make the School of Engineering the best engineering school in the California State University system, a school that everyone can be proud of. The faculty and I are committed to make this happen with your help.

In conclusion, let me borrow a paragraph written by Adlai E. Stevenson:

Your days are short here; this is the last of your springs. And now in the serenity and quiet of this lovely place, touch the depths of truth, feel the hem of Heaven. You will go away with old, good friends. Don't forget when you leave and why you came.

Graduation Commencement 2005 Photo

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