And to think: many of you began this journey with a lullaby, some with story books … like the night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind or another and his mother called him Wild Thing …
We at the University consider the decision to send your sons, daughters and loved ones to live and learn here to be a true act of faith and trust—unlike perhaps any other educational choice you have made thus far.
Given the gravity of this decision—given what matters most to you in this point in their lives—we are grateful that you chose the University of Washington as the place where they will live and learn.
Let me give you a little insight into what they might be doing here the next few years. They will examine the depths of the ocean floor or the flight patterns of birds and bees and the implications for the flight of unmanned vehicles.
Please know this much about our University. Lots of change and learning will go on here and for all the grand work we do, we are equally adept at showing and modeling care for one another, inspiration, devotion, passion and compassion.
To you, our newest students, our 151st entering class, let me say a few words about you. You have a 3.75 GPA and high SAT scores. You come from 45 states and 42 countries. You come from all over the world and all around the state of Washington. We have 493 students from Seattle, 288 from Bellevue, 44 from Bellingham and 107 from Spokane.
We have 79 students from Inglemoor Senior High School, 101 from Newport, 62 from Garfield, 49 from Roosevelt, 47 from Franklin, 34 from Ingraham and 1 student from Wilbur, Wash. (pop. 884), 66 miles west of Spokane.
In all, there are more than 1,100 high schools represented in this class. The one student from Tenino becomes part of the proud UW tradition as do the 14 from Punahou in Hawaii, the 12 students from Shanghai International Division in China and the 6 students from International School in Bangkok. The students from Tallulah Falls High School in Ohio, Kamehameha High in Hawaii, the Czech Republic and Sri Lanka join the 1 student from Turkey to become part of 151 years of UW family.
I am always excited to welcome new students— in this case, 75 who waddled across the border from Oregon and are now Washington Huskies. Eleven students packed their belongings and left the rolling plains of Pullman in search of truth, wisdom and higher learning to become Huskies in the big city of Seattle.
Nearly 30 percent of you are the first in your family to go to college. Congratulations. There are 41 Jessicas, 40 Hannahs, 39 Emilys, 56 Michaels, 47 Andrews, 42 Mathews and 40 Davids in this class.
We welcome all of you. Students from Kuwait, Morocco and Jordan—we say Ahalan wa Sahlam—welcome, you are like family. Students from China, we say Juan Ying—welcome to the University. To students from Mexico, Argentina, Spain and Colombia—we say Bienvenidos. From Senegal, we say—Na nga def. To the New Yorkers, we say How ya doin’.
Let me close with words that Christopher Robin said to Winnie the Pooh: “If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember: you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you.”
—Ed Taylor, ’93, Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, from a speech to the entering class of 2016.