Dean’s Welcome

Welcome Alumni!

Think for a moment of all that you might do today. You could go to Facebook or Twitter to see what your “friends” are up to and upload the digital photos you took last weekend. At some time you’d probably check on the latest news, track the progress of a favorite sports team or even to sneak a peek at the fortunes and misfortunes of a Hollywood celebrity. You know you can find all that and more in the newspaper, on TV or by visiting a trusted website or blog. And if there’s still some time in your day, you could check the ads for a new film to see, book to read or vacation to plan.

Now think for another moment about how all those possibilities came to be. Think of the process you followed to take those photos and post them on-line. Think of how those news reports, sports scores and celebrity sightings were gathered and packaged for you to view or to read. Think of what it took to create the ad that caught your attention. And think of all the people — all the professionals — behind each of those things.

Now think of your alma mater.

Nothing more defines the human experience than communication, the ability that each of us has — in fact, the need that each of us has — to convey our thoughts to others and to receive theirs. That’s what drives our interest in Facebook, in the news media, in watching films, broadcasts or videos on YouTube. It’s also what you’ve learned at COM from some of the smartest, most dedicated and — yes — most famous teachers at any university in the world.

Among many other things, you may have learned how to build an interactive website, how to produce a documentary film, how to direct a TV program, how to craft a news story, how to photograph an historic event, how to design an advertisement or how to orchestrate a public-relations campaign. You definitely learned how to communicate effectively and clearly.

But we’ve taught you more than just the “how” of communicating. We taught the “what” to communicate. The BU graduate knows that it is the quality of the content that matters, not the method of delivery. It’s the kind of quality that comes only from having had a world-class education in the liberal arts at a world-class university. For example, our journalism graduates understand that it isn’t enough to know how to construct a news story, it’s also important to know what goes into one. The same is true for the filmmaker and the advertising creative director. We don’t just train professional communicators; we educate them by requiring that they take 70 percent of their courses in other disciplines given by some of the best teachers — many of them current practitioners — anywhere.

As graduates of COM, you are our most important “ambassadors” to the professions you have joined and are role models to young people who want to follow in your paths. Your successes are COM’s successes. The converse is also true, that COM’s continued success as one of the most prominent schools of its kind – something you can help to assure – will also benefit you by maintaining and enhancing the reputational value of your degree.

You are among the most successful leaders in the professions that COM serves, and we are proud to call you our own.

Tom Fiedler