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Graduate Student Orientation

Grad School LogoJason W. Osborne
Associate Provost and
Dean of the Graduate School

E-106 Martin Hall
Clemson, SC

FROM: Jason W. Osborne, Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School
DATE: January 5, 2016
SUBJECT: Welcome to graduate school!

As Dean of the Graduate School here at Clemson University, I want to welcome you to the Clemson Family! Clemson was founded with a singular vision: to be a “high seminary of learning” to benefit the public good. Since that time, Clemson University has evolved and matured into a leading, modern, land-grant university with more than 4600 graduate students from all over the world. However, we have never lost our focus on the reason we exist: to make the world, for all people, a better place through the power of education, creativity, curiosity, and scholarship.

Students like you are reimaging the world we live in. Consider what someone from 1916 would think of our modern world of 2016. Think about how many fundamental aspects of life have radically changed during the prior century: our food and how we get it, our health and the tools we have to protect it, how we spend leisure time, the built environment we live in, the transportation we use, the communication and entertainment available to us, the ethical issues we wrestle with, and the public educational system available to us are all completely transformed, in large part due to the breakthroughs and scholarship produced at research universities like Clemson.

Leaders in transformative companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft seek to create great teams, not teams of great people. They tell us that one key attribute of great teams is diversity different perspectives and backgrounds and interests and ways of thinking can give teams a greatness- the whole can be more than the sum of the parts- and this greatness can lead to breakthroughs not possible otherwise. At Clemson, we celebrate and value all types of diversity. Whatever your background, identity, or viewpoint, you can make us stronger and more successful, and I hope that in turn, we provide you the tools necessary to move you toward your personal goals.

My challenge to you is to take advantage of being in this amazing place, surrounded by amazing people, to do something amazing. All your education to this point was about learning how to answer questions. I challenge you, as part of your graduate education, to begin asking questions that nobody has asked before, to look at things in new and novel ways. In asking new questions, in looking at things with fresh eyes, we can change paradigms, create breakthroughs previously unimagined, and reimagine the future for ourselves and future generations. The seeds of your success are here. It is up to you to grasp them, nurture them, and harvest the rewards.

Jason Osborne