Letter to 2009 Graduates from President Sidney A. Ribeau


You are now a graduate of Howard University, one of our nation’s finest institutions. This is no small accomplishment and you have every right to be proud—to take a moment and celebrate a dream fulfilled, along with your family and loved ones. It is also a good time to think hard about the future and the direction you are likely to take once you leave Howard University.

You are graduating at a particularly challenging time. The world economy is experiencing one of its biggest downturns in modern times and the jobs you anticipated when you enrolled in your programs are now fewer and farther between. You will have to work that much harder to secure and retain a place for yourself.

But you are a Howard graduate. You have already learned that within every crisis there are opportunities for you to call on your creative spirit, to demonstrate the lessons in leadership that you have learned, and to be a part of the solution to the challenges of the day. In this very difficult time, think of yourself as our newest ambassador of a legacy renewed and do your best in the name of Alma Mater.

Our history is steeped in traditions of confronting difficulties with vision and boldness. Throughout your years at Howard, you have heard countless invocations of the names and ideals of those who have come before you—those who have made great sacrifices for the good of the nation and community. I urge you to emulate them and let our finest ideals and traditions be your guiding light.

Best regards,
Sidney A. Ribeau