A Graduation Day to Remember

Friday, May 27, 2016

The sights and sounds of commencement

By Anthony Giornalista

Yes, brains help.

But so do hard work, the ability to communicate and, most importantly, the values you live by. That message was included in the address delivered by honorary degree recipient Peter Butler to the nearly 850 graduating students honored at Rush University’s 44th commencement ceremony May 26.

“You can marry these skills with an exciting, ever-changing world that will be equipped with big data, personalized medicine, and technology that will diagnose and deliver health care in ways we can only begin to imagine,” says Butler, speaking to graduates from each of the University’s four colleges.

You can take in the sights and sounds of Butler’s speech, and all of the joy and excitement of the students, their mentors and their families:

Butler, who will be stepping down as president of Rush University Medical Center on June 30, gave a commencement speech that drew from his more than four decades of experience working in teaching hospitals and health care systems, including an accomplished run at Rush that started in 1982 and encompasses two separate stints.

Butler is also chairperson of the Department of Health Systems Management — ranked No. 5 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report — in Rush University’s College of Health Sciences. He will remain in that role following his retirement from the Medical Center.

His speech — titled “1982-2050” — reflected on the last 34 years and projected what the next 34 might be like for graduates, particularly for those who can display the four measures of success he identified.

“I believe most of you will work hard, but those of you who communicate well and live your values will be sought after as leaders,” Butler says. “You are the ones who will tackle the challenges. You are the ones who, when you pictured a career in health care to be a calling, will feel rewarded when you look back as I am doing today. People will say you are the ones who finally got it right.

“Many of your customers and fans sit above and around you today. You have so much ahead of you. Good luck. And remember, be kind. It won’t cost you a thing.”