On Sunday, December 16th, the winter graduates of 2018 and 6,700 guests packed the seats of the Kohl Center and listened to Alan H, “Bud” Selig, Commissioner Emeritus of Major League Baseball and class of 1956 History and Political Science major, deliver the keynote commencement speech.
Selig gave graduates some guiding advice: “Regardless of the political, economic, and social environment that currently exists, each of you, as you move out of university life will face your own set of challenges. It’ll be up to you, each one of you, to meet those challenges with intelligence and acumen, and again with hope and faith.”
Selig, who is an honorary member of the History Board of Visitors, is one of our department’s most loyal supporters. He has endowed a Chair in Sports History and co-teaches a class each semester in the Department with Professor David McDonald called “Baseball & Society Since WWII.”
Selig concluded his speech with a lesson from one of his favorite baseball icons, Jackie Robinson: “What I learned from Jackie’s example, and from my career in baseball, is that one’s social responsibility, or one organization’s social responsibility, often relies on one’s courage to do the right thing, even when those around you may tell you it’s not the right thing to do, or that it presents too many complex problems to overcome. Giving up on your goals, your ideals, or your dreams, is the easy way out. But if you do, you won’t succeed.”