Letter to the disability graduates of the Class of 2021
May 18, 2021
To the disability graduates of the Class of 2021,
Congratulations! Graduation from the University of Iowa is a significant achievement. It represents the hard work you invested in yourself.
Commencement is a time for celebration and reflection to those people who have helped you achieve this milestone. I encourage you to thank those who have assisted you on your journey, your family, friends, professors, and mentors.
As you take the next step, I want to share with you five pieces of knowledge that have helped me in my career:
Avoid assumptions. If you don't know something, ask. It shows respect to those you work with, and you gain a higher understanding of something you don't know.
Be humble, hungry, and smart. Be humble with everyone. Have a hunger to learn and grow. Keep working hard and be as efficient and effective as you can be.
Take time every day to thank someone. Each day, think of one person who helped you and thank them. The return you receive is 10 times the effort.
Never stop learning, formally and informally. Keep being curious and keep learning new skills.
Finally, welcome adversity and be a solution. You are no strangers to adversity. Continue to attack it and be problem solvers. Take on the unknown because you never know where it can lead you.
Please keep pushing us to be better. You have started something special during your time at Iowa; you are making our world listen. Keep talking, hold us accountable, insist on equal opportunities and mutual respect.
Each of you is now a graduate of the University of Iowa. Take a minute to let that sink in. Enjoy this time. Celebrate your accomplishment and know you are a Hawkeye for life. You always have a home in Iowa City.
Liz Tovar, Ph.D
Executive Officer and Associate Vice President
Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
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