President Fuchs addressed bachelor's, master's and specialist graduates at a ceremony at the O'Connell Center December 14. 

"> Skip to main content


Kent Fuchs is president of the University of Florida. His speech is below.

And now, we have come to the part of the program known as the commencement speech. 

This is the part where someone comes to the podium to make remarks while the graduates listen closely and wonder…

Why does listening to this speaker feel like waiting forever for the RTS bus?

Why does this speech seem longer than the line at Chipotle? 

Will I be sitting here for another four years?

Or, if you are like me, you are saying, instead of this, I could be watching Episode 6 of “The Mandalorian!”

Graduates, we are here to celebrate!  You are receiving your degree from the University of Florida, and you are the last class to graduate in the 20-teens! It’s celebration time.

However, I also recognize that you may feel some anxiety about what comes next in your life. A quiet, anxious voice may be asking: What have these years in college been building up to?

When I graduated college, I thought I knew the direction of my life.

I was graduating with a bachelor’s degree in engineering.  However, in my last two years of college, I had been involved with other students in a local church.

I decided in my final year not to pursue a career in electrical engineering, but rather to attend seminary, divinity school, so that I could be ordained as a pastor, a fulltime minister of a church.

That is what I did, or at least tried to do.

After my engineering graduation ceremony, I drove to Chicago, where I took an intensive summer course on New Testament Greek. That fall, I entered the three-year masters of divinity program, which went fine for the first year – but then I took my first homiletics class on writing and preaching sermons.

I discovered I couldn’t write or deliver a sermon in a way that stirred people’s emotions or touched their hearts. I could inform, but I couldn’t inspire. It’s hard to be a pastor, rabbi or imam if you can’t reach people’s hearts.

To make things worse, my serious girlfriend at the time broke up with me.  I was also struggling financially, despite working late nights and weekends as a security guard.

I was heartbroken and my career plans were shattered.

Graduates, if you ever feel this way about your life plans…or if, maybe, you even feel this way today…as your president, I predict that there will be an even better and richer life before you than you can possibly dream, in the midst of your uncertainty and disappointment.

As Baby Yoda might say…when he actually speaks…“Awaiting you, my Gators, a great future.”

As I was worrying about my apparent failure in seminary, I came to realize that my shortcoming could be my strength.

My seminary professors told me that I wasn’t good at reaching people’s hearts with my public speaking, but I could reach their heads. 

I couldn’t preach, but I could teach. In fact, I came to realize I enjoyed teaching, and that being an educator could be as important as being a pastor.

This realization, of both my weakness and my strength led me to return to engineering for graduate school, with a new goal of teaching students as a college professor.

Electrical engineering graduate school for me was also really hard, particularly since it had been several years since my last engineering class. I discovered that the students for whom I was a teaching assistant knew more than me.

But I survived and eventually thrived in nearly six years of engineering graduate school.

That moment of painful reckoning in divinity school…

That time I thought I wasted three years and didn’t know what to do…

It was awful.

It was great.

It ended my dream, but directed me to a new path and new purpose. 

Not only that, divinity school is where I met my partner and wife, Linda. She was returning an overdue library book, which I needed for a paper I had to write about infant baptism.

I lost my dream of serving as a fulltime pastor, but I gained much more. I got a library book, a life partner and a new direction to my life.

There’s a saying that old men like to give good advice because they can no longer set bad examples.

So I’m going to tell you three things I’ve learned about wrong turns, failures and not achieving my own expectations.

The first thing is that I have a natural instinct to blame myself when something goes wrong. But often the blame lies elsewhere, and the best thing to do is just move on.

I heard this described well just a few weeks ago by UF College of the Arts Professor Andrew Cao, who I met  when he gave a talk about directing this fall’s production of “Pippin” by the School of Theatre and Dance.

Professor Cao said he spent years as a professional dancer trying to make it in New York City, experiencing many rejections before he finally reached Broadway, where he danced in many productions, including Aladdin.

He said that for one of the scenes, the actor playing Aladdin has to climb into a tiny, cramped, box. 

Actors auditioning for that starring role might be incredibly talented. They might be the hardest-working actors in New York. They might be the kindest, best, most generous people.

But if they literally…not metaphorically…if they literally couldn’t fit in the box, they wouldn’t get to play Aladdin on Broadway – even if they were perfect for the role.

Graduates, think about that story before blaming yourself the next time you fail or take a wrong turn. 

Sometimes the problem is the box, not you. 

The second thing I have learned about failures or wrong turns is to view them with hope rather than with despair.

I never became a fulltime minister of a church. But my lack of ability to touch people’s hearts and emotions in my public speaking was a real weakness, so I committed to work at getting better.

It has never come to me naturally, and now, four decades since those awful homiletics classes, I still work daily at communicating not just information, but reaching hearts and souls.

As your president, I ask you to be hopeful if you experience those moments of weakness, failure, uncertainty or wrong turns. Think about how you can turn them around.

What step can you take to distill your doubt into determination? Your shortcoming into strength? Be hopeful. Be brave. Then act. 

Last thing.

Your ability to get past the natural obstacles of life isn’t just about you. 

It’s also about the world we share, which gets me back to that quiet question you may be asking: What has my time at the University of Florida been building up to?

In my case, at my own graduation, I thought I knew the answer. I thought it was to be a minister and to guide a congregation.

I was wrong.

I learned instead that the world beyond college needed me for another purpose.

It needed me not to be a minister, but to be a teacher and mentor. To be a husband and a father. 

The world needed me to stand in front of thousands of people dressed like a big orange-and-blue bumblebee! 

I was needed to be your university president, to express my love for each one of you, and to express my pride in what you have accomplished by graduating today from the University of Florida.

With your valuable UF degrees, the world needs you to be business and public-service leaders, pastors, rabbis, educators, homemakers, doctors, chemists, historians, parents, lawyers, engineers, marketers…Your lives will go in so many awesome directions…including wrong turns, which will turn into your best turns!

The world needs you to join the countless good people who may not be on the news…or have millions of followers on social media…but who are doing the quiet, good work of holding each other, our planet and the people of our planet high in their hands. 

When the days get shorter and the nights get colder, be the fall leaves, displaying your inner glow in breathtaking orange and blues. 

Graduates, the University of Florida and the entire Gator Nation will always be there for you. We will always cheer for you. Albert and Alberta will always stand behind you with their big toothy grins and their thumbs up!

I leave you with an old Irish blessing, which expresses my personal affection for each one of you.

May the sun shine gently on your face.

May the rain fall soft upon your fields.

May the wind be at your back.

May the road rise to meet you.

And may the Lord hold you in the hollow of his hand.

Until we meet again.

Graduates, congratulations! It is great to be a Florida Gator!

UF News December 14, 2019
s8视频app下载免费 月光直播app下载免费 彩云直播app下载免费 月亮视频成版人 91香蕉视频app下载免费 暗夜直播app下载免费 火爆社区app污下载安装 压寨直播app下载免费 7秒鱼直播app污下载安装 蝴蝶直播app下载免费 享受直播app下载免费 蓝颜app下载免费 铁牛视频成版人 恋人直播app下载免费 夜魅直播成版人 红楼直播成版人 千层浪视频app污下载安装 媚妹秀app下载免费 幸福宝app下载免费 主播福利成版人 午夜神器app污下载安装 杏花直播app下载免费 兔子直播app下载免费 花姬直播app污下载安装 望月直播成版人 压寨直播app下载免费 91香蕉视频app污下载安装 豆奶app下载免费 皮卡丘直播app污下载安装 7秒鱼app下载免费 小蝌蚪视频app下载免费 小喵直播app下载免费 小怪兽直播成版人 茄子视频app下载免费 青青草app下载免费 芭乐视频app下载免费 猛虎视频app污下载安装 AVnightapp下载免费 内裤直播app污下载安装 猫咪软件成版人 小奶狗成版人 小猪视频app下载免费 榴莲视频app污下载安装 粉色app污下载安装 91视频成版人 小蝌蚪成版人 成版人快手app污下载安装 成版人抖音成版人 本色视频app污下载安装 蜜桃直播成版人 ML聚合app下载免费 红楼直播app下载免费 花椒直播app污下载安装 享爱app污下载安装 91香蕉app污下载安装 茄子app污下载安装 橙子视频成版人 夏娃直播成版人 花心社区app下载免费 奶茶视频app污下载安装 黄页荔枝成版人 冈本视频成版人 含羞草成版人 荔枝视频app污下载安装 橙子视频app污下载安装 云上花直播app下载免费 繁花直播app污下载安装 七仙女直播成版人 金屋藏娇直播间app下载免费 套路直播成版人 富二代f2app污下载安装 香蕉成版人 九尾狐直播app污下载安装 奶茶视频成版人 7秒鱼直播成版人 红高粱直播app下载免费 和欢视频app污下载安装 尤蜜app下载免费 美岁直播app污下载安装 swag视频app污下载安装 快猫短视频app污下载安装 小狐仙成版人 菠萝蜜app污下载安装 暖暖直播app污下载安装 秀儿直播app污下载安装 棉花糖直播成版人 青青草app污下载安装 花狐狸直播成版人 69视频app下载免费 大番号app污下载安装 樱花直播成版人 皮卡丘直播成版人 铁牛成版人 蘑菇视频app下载免费 91直播成版人 小宝贝直播app污下载安装 皮卡丘直播成版人 奶茶视频成版人 秀色直播成版人 樱花app下载免费 草鱼app下载免费 四虎app污下载安装 草榴视频app下载免费 水晶直播app污下载安装 食色短视频app下载免费 Avboboapp污下载安装 酷咪直播成版人 繁花直播app下载免费 火辣直播成版人 尤蜜视频app污下载安装 仙人掌app污下载安装 左手视频app污下载安装 佳丽直播成版人 樱花app下载免费 橘子直播app下载免费 仙人掌app下载免费 朵朵直播成版人 草榴视频app下载免费 考拉直播成版人 小可爱app下载免费 桃花成版人 猛虎直播app污下载安装 冈本视频app污下载安装 IAVBOBOapp下载免费 云雨直播成版人 红高粱直播app污下载安装 小奶狗视频app下载免费 可乐视频app污下载安装 快猫app污下载安装 主播大秀成版人 初恋视频成版人 幸福宝成版人 香蜜直播app污下载安装 69视频app污下载安装 橙子视频成版人 黄鱼视频app污下载安装 月光直播app下载免费 四虎app污下载安装 茄子视频成版人 左手视频app污下载安装 猫咪视频app下载免费 彩云直播成版人 佳丽直播app下载免费 向日葵成版人 快猫短视频成版人 葫芦娃成版人 逗趣直播app下载免费 享爱直播app下载免费 主播福利app下载免费 梦幻直播成版人 成版人音色短视频app污下载安装 蓝颜app下载免费 蚪音成版人 草莓成版人 花秀神器成版人 小小影视成版人 十里桃花直播成版人 享爱app污下载安装 主播大秀app污下载安装 7秒鱼直播成版人 红杏视频成版人 名优馆app污下载安装 月亮直播app下载免费 快喵成版人 快狐app污下载安装 黄瓜视频app下载免费 草榴直播app污下载安装 年华直播成版人 久草成版人 小天仙直播app污下载安装 樱花雨直播app下载免费 丝瓜app污下载安装 香蕉app污下载安装 小奶狗app污下载安装 可乐视频app下载免费 小喵直播app污下载安装 69热成版人 梦幻直播app下载免费 抖阴app下载免费 小优app下载免费 快猫视频app污下载安装 花秀神器成版人 可乐视频app下载免费 七秒鱼直播app污下载安装 花仙子直播app下载免费 樱花雨直播app下载免费 含羞草视频app下载免费 午夜直播app污下载安装 酷咪直播app下载免费 依恋直播成版人 薰衣草直播成版人 花姬直播成版人 香蕉成版人 茶馆视频成版人 豆奶视频成版人 年华直播成版人 宅男之家app污下载安装 咪哒app下载免费 樱桃直播app下载免费 遇见直播app污下载安装 奶茶视频成版人 黄鱼视频app污下载安装 avgo成版人 91香蕉视频app污下载安装 小姐姐直播成版人 69视频app下载免费 月亮直播app污下载安装 小酒窝直播app下载免费 黄鱼视频app污下载安装 探探直播app污下载安装 豆奶抖音短视频app污下载安装 酷咪直播成版人 台湾swagapp下载免费 米老鼠直播app污下载安装 逗趣直播成版人 花姿app下载免费 小酒窝直播成版人 福利直播app污下载安装 小小影视成版人 菠萝菠萝蜜视频app下载免费 蜜桃app污下载安装 ML聚合直播app下载免费 恋人直播成版人 逗趣直播app污下载安装 萝卜视频app污下载安装 花姬直播成版人 合欢视频app下载免费 可乐视频app下载免费 樱花app污下载安装 向日葵成版人 猫咪软件app下载免费 米老鼠直播成版人 比心app下载免费 花姬成版人 小喵直播app污下载安装 欢喜视频成版人 云雨直播app污下载安装 可乐视频成版人 繁花直播app污下载安装 快播破解成版人 荔枝视频app下载免费 小奶猫app下载免费 压寨直播app下载免费 丝瓜视频app污下载安装 夏娃直播app污下载安装 草鱼app污下载安装 金鱼直播app污下载安装 茄子成版人 d2天堂app下载免费 花姬成版人 小蝌蚪视频app污下载安装 香蕉成版人 妖妖直播app污下载安装 花友直播成版人 男人本色西瓜视频app下载免费 红娘直播成版人 荔枝成版人 爱爱视频app污下载安装 金屋藏娇直播间成版人 青青草app污下载安装 成版人短视频app下载免费 花友直播app下载免费 7秒鱼成版人 快猫视频app下载免费 小奶狗视频app污下载安装 老王视频app污下载安装 主播大秀app污下载安装 享受直播成版人 台湾swagapp下载免费 西瓜直播成版人 午夜直播间app下载免费 美岁直播app污下载安装 迷雾直播app污下载安装 骚虎直播app下载免费 桃花成版人 ML聚合成版人 茄子app下载免费