Message from the President

Congratulations, Class of 2021!

On behalf of the entire University of New Mexico community, we are proud to honor your achievements today. We call this celebration a “commencement” because the word means “a beginning or start.” While today’s event can’t replace in the in-person festivities we were hoping for, this virtual celebration still marks the end of one path, and the start of lifelong opportunities for adventure and success. Congratulations!

Commencement is a tradition that marks the intersection of the past and the future—and in New Mexico, we know the value of traditions. Our rich culture is founded on the wisdom that has been handed down from our elders, and our legacy as Lobos is rooted in the individuals who have strived to make their way in this rugged, beautiful land. Our traditions keep us connected to the lessons of the past. Our traditions are also the launch pad for our future.

Today, as we honor your accomplishments as graduates of the University of New Mexico, we are celebrating your endless possibilities. Great universities foster discovery in every discipline. At UNM, our noblest goal is to give our graduates the courage and wisdom to ask challenging questions and the perseverance and skill to discover the answers. As you look ahead, I hope you will apply that spirit of inquiry in all aspects of your life.

I know this has been an extraordinary chapter in the story of UNM and of our nation, and I am so impressed with the ways the Class of 2021 has risen to the challenges posed by a global pandemic. In times of uncertainty and turmoil, remember that your education has prepared you to take on the world. As you stride confidently into the future, I hope you will take strength from all that you have accomplished in the face of the unprecedented, and all that our University has given you. You can take knowledge to new heights. You can dare to imagine, then realize your greatest dreams. You can make a better world, a better community, a better family, and a better self through the power of your education. Again, congratulations!

Always remember that you have a home here at the University of New Mexico. You are part of the pack.

Go Lobos!

Garnett S. Stokes
President of the University of New Mexico