If there’s one thing the members of the Class of 2023 have learned to handle, it’s the unexpected.
There’s the good kind of unexpected – taking a class that steers you toward a brand-new major and different path in life; making friends with people from backgrounds totally different from your own; celebrating a national championship in the face of doubt and disbelief from the national basketball pundits – and then there’s the other kind, as in, say, a global pandemic that defines the first half of your college experience.
But the graduates of 2023 have demonstrated the ability to navigate any change, no matter how vertigo-inducing it may seem, and emerge on the other side better, wiser, and ready for more. In the newly launched website dedicated to this year’s graduates, you will meet Huskies who are veterans, Huskies who are philanthropists, Huskies who are already well into professional careers, Huskies who are the first in their family to attend college, and Huskies who are carrying on a proud family tradition of earning a UConn degree.
Reading their stories – the familiar memories of initially feeling intimidated by the size of the University community before finding a niche; the enthusiasm for work accomplished and plans made; the private jokes and lifelong bonds – gives us a sense of what it means to be a Husky in 2023.
Although many things have changed since that day in 1883 when six young Connecticut residents received the first degrees awarded in the institution’s history, the sense that all UConn’s riches can be contained within the experiences of each student has remained.
This week, thousands of people – from Connecticut, from New England, from the nation, from the world – will join those six original graduates, all the subsequent generations of Huskies: doctors, teachers, public servants, WNBA All-Stars, astronauts, inventors, comedians, folk singers, puppeteers, pharmacists, nurses, civil rights lawyers, journalists – anything and everything that can be done with a first-class education, a will to succeed, and a moral foundation rooted in a diverse, dynamic community.
So, congratulations to the Class of 2023, and remember: as of now, you may no longer be students, but you’ll always be Huskies Forever.