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Welcome Remarks 2014

Gary Krosch, chair of the Fontbonne University Board of Trustees, introduced Dr. Dennis C. Golden at both the graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremonies.

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It is my honor to welcome you to the 2014 commencement ceremony at Fontbonne University.

Today, it is especially fitting to note the endings and the beginnings that we celebrate during commencement. Our graduates here before us are marking the conclusion of a major phase in their lives. Yet, at the same time, we are sending them on a new journey … as leaders, educated and prepared to serve a world in need. We are … as always … incredibly proud of their achievements, and we welcome friends, family and loved ones to celebrate with us on this joyful day.

Fontbonne, too, is celebrating an ending and a beginning today. Our distinguished guest speaker, Dr. Dennis C. Golden, is retiring after serving as president of Fontbonne University for nearly two decades. At the same time, the university community is preparing to welcome his successor, Dr. J. Michael Pressimone, as the next president of Fontbonne.

Today, though, we will hear from our current leader: an educator, mentor, coach, and man of faith and family. Dr. Golden truly lives out the values of Fontbonne University and its founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in his life and his work. 

Dr. Golden graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of the Holy Cross in 1963. He completed a Master of Arts in Guidance and Counseling from Assumption College in 1969, and then went on to earn a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from Boston College in 1974. He is a United States Marine, having proudly served as both an active duty officer and a Marine Reserve Officer, attaining the rank of Captain.

At 24 years of age, Dr. Golden made a critical decision: he chose higher education over a career playing professional football in the NFL. To his own credit and to our good fortune, he has never regretted this choice.

Dr. Golden has served at five institutions of higher education during his 48-year career. His path has taken him to the College of the Holy Cross; Framingham State University; Duquesne University; the University of Louisville; and finally, Fontbonne University.

During his 19 years here, Dr. Golden has nurtured, mentored and supported thousands of students. He was instrumental in establishing a university-wide strategic planning process, increasing the endowment, expanding academic programs and enhancing the campus. He has also overseen the completion of two capital campaigns, the development of a sponsorship agreement with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and the full institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Dr. Golden has many titles, of course, from president and leader to educator and mentor … but I believe all of you here today will agree with me when I say … one of his most important titles is that of  “friend.” I am honored to introduce my friend and yours … Dr. Dennis Golden. Please join me in giving Fontbonne’s 13th president a warm welcome.