Acknowledging the exemplary achievements of a new graduating class amidst many challenges, the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) commemorated its Winter Quarter graduates virtually, Mar. 26. The new NPS alumni overcame many arduous challenges in the COVID environment, swiftly adapting to remote learning in early 2020, demonstrating personal and professional commitment to completing the rigorous academics and research required by their programs.
In commencement remarks recorded prior to graduation day, Joint Staff Director for Strategy Plans and Policy Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti congratulated the 276 graduates, including eight international students from six countries, highlighting that the creative professionals developed at NPS take today's uncertainty and transform it to future strategy.
“I know how hard it is to complete these academics while balancing all other aspects of your life made even more difficult by the pandemic,” said Franchetti. “Thank you for making this effort. You and our joint force will be better and stronger because of it as this chapter of learning comes to an end.”
For the new university alumni, she referenced a paraphrased comment from Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., who once said, “Every now and then a person's mind is stretched by a new idea and it never shrinks back to its former dimension.”
Franchetti encouraged the new graduates to expand on what they have learned and apply it to the coming assignments.
“Continue to take the time to read, study and build on what you have learned. For us to have what it takes to win in the future, we need you to do just that,” she said.
In a pre-recorded graduation ceremony NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ann E. Rondeau praised the graduates on their outstanding achievements throughout this past year during which they persevered and performed, creating new ideas that will provide solutions for our nation.
“The accomplishments that we celebrate today have empowered you to be the leaders, to champion the solutions and innovations that will overcome the challenges; that will answer the problems; and that will develop and create solutions,” said Rondeau. “Take pride, but also take with you the new knowledge as your new rucksack of intellectual power in this age that will require a speed of decision making with accuracy and precision like no other time.”
NPS’ Dean of Students Capt. Markus J. Gudmundsson echoed Franchetti in that boosting education is a necessity in today’s military.
“Your graduation from this university represents a critical investment in you and in our armed forces,” he said. “Your abilities and the research and scholarship you've contributed represent our future advantage in this era of great power competition. Our investment in you, is in good hands.”
For more information on the Winter Quarter class, visit the NPS Graduation website.