May 5, 2014

Congratulations to our spring graduates

On behalf of the University of Colorado, I want to congratulate you and all the people who helped you.   Your degree from this great university will change your life forever. 

As you start the next stage of your life, I would like to share some of my thoughts with you that have helped me throughout my life.

Listen to others.  Make sure you hear all sides of the issue.  Your ideas may not always be the best.

You can accomplish a lot more if you don’t care who gets the credit.

In every decision, watch out for unintended consequences.

Stay focused on what is important and finish what you start.

Think before you act.

If you make a mistake or a bad decision, admit it – apologize - fix it as fast as you can and move on.

When you make an agreement, make sure both sides are happy.  Don’t always try to get the advantage.

Seize opportunities as they come along.  If you have a life plan, don’t miss opportunities that may not fit exactly in your plan.

People want leaders – if you see a void, fill it.

When you become a leader:

Be inclusive and open.

Try to listen more than you talk.

Hire great people who are trustworthy and work as a team.

Know what you don’t know and be sure you have people around you who do know.

Treat everyone with respect and remember that everyone has a place in this world.      

Always lead by example - do the right thing no matter how tough it is.  You will be rewarded.

Be generous - with your time and when you can, with your money – and be sure to remember your alma mater.  

Contribute to your community, volunteer for projects you care about.  You will do good and it will make you feel really good.

In the end your honesty, your word, your reputation and your integrity are all that you have – don’t lose them.

And don’t forget, the harder you work, the luckier you’ll get.

Good luck to all of you as you start the next phase of your life.

Again, congratulations.

Bruce D. Benson

President