'Keep learning': UND’s Mark Kennedy advises graduates to commit to lifelong learning
UND President Mark Kennedy had one piece of advice for graduating students as they prepare to enter a workforce with ever-changing technology: "Keep learning."
"No longer can we be in a world where it's one degree and you're finished," he said Saturday during the spring commencement ceremony in Grand Forks. "You have to be committed to lifelong learning because things are just changing that fast."
Thousands watched from the stands at the Alerus Center as young adults received their diplomas from the university. More than 2,000 students graduated this spring from UND, including 1,372 undergrads who were honored Saturday afternoon.
Master's and doctoral degrees were handed out Saturday morning. The School of Medicine and Health Sciences will hold its commencement Sunday.
Kennedy's speech for soon-to-be-alumni focused mostly on the changing landscape of careers, the world and life in general. Technology is continuously changing and creating new careers, Kennedy said, adding it's possible today's graduates will work in a job that doesn't exist yet.
"What's it going to be like for you 20 years from now?" he asked. "Will you be communicating with relatives from Mars through some kind of 3D prototype?"
Casey Ryan, a member of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education from Grand Forks, echoed Kennedy's sentiments about continued learning. He told graduates the keys to being successful are to smile, listen, have a good attitude and be nice, fair and honest while applying the knowledge they gained from UND.
"UND has given you opportunity, but it can't guarantee your success," he said. "You have to do what you need to do to become more successful."