Dr. Anthony Chow

Director of the SJSU School of Information

Good evening.

It's a true honor and privilege to preside over my first online virtual celebration as the new iSchool Director. Welcome to tonight's festivities. Special thanks to Alfredo, Bethany, TC, Gina, Taryn, and all of the other staff that have worked so hard to make this event a success.

A special congratulations to all of our graduates. Hardy congratulations from me. It's wonderful. And thank you for joining us tonight. What an amazing group and we're so excited for all of you to be joining the field.

We have a saying here that information is everything. Given the data, technology, and information renaissance that we are in, your skills and career possibilities are pretty much endless. Those who may have given you a hard time for earning a library degree, do not understand that your role, our role, is more important than ever. Increasing illiteracy rates especially in underserved communities, book banning, attacks on Roe versus Wade, anti-LGBQT-plus laws and policies, inequitable access to the Internet, Broadband access, the social economic of digital divides that are only getting larger, fake news, cyber-attacks, misinformation, spyware, malware, et cetera are all real threats today and into the future.

Maybe we need to amend our slogan to quality, vetted, and safe information is everything. All of you are needed to help to ensure this type of information and data is available and equitably accessed. We have much work to do. As you proceed into your new opportunities and careers your new iSchool degree affords you, let me leave you with a few parting words of advice.

First, health and wellness; please set aside time each day to focus on your own health and wellness. There are always more people to help, more data to analyze and more problems to solve, but you are the most important and we want a healthy and happy you.

Two, in your own life and career, work extremely hard and treat everyone well with kindness and respect, especially those that do not afford the same to you. Success is very much an outcome of doing the right thing, the right way, and the attitude "reap what you sow" is very valid and true over the marathon we call life. The turtle always tends to win in the end. The road to accomplishment of goals is long and hard both professionally and personally, and in order to accomplish your goals you must put in the work and dedication to get things done especially when it often looks hopeless. Find your mountain top. Keep an eye on that mountain top that you wish to climb to and don't stop until you reach it.

Three, help more people. You are now considered elite, not elitist, as you leave SJSU with a graduate degree. You are trained and vested with knowledge, skills, and abilities and attitude that will allow you to identify, study, and solve problems at an advanced level. Use this to help others especially those most in need. And to quote a world famous philosopher, Spider Man: "With great power comes great responsibility."

So, I offer a congratulations to the class of 2022. I am so proud to be standing alongside you in-person, online, in virtual reality, in mixed reality, to continue fighting the good fight to ensure people have access to high-quality information they need to make decisions and improve on their own quality of lives.

You are joining over 11,000 iSchool alumni across the globe. I urge you to please stay in touch and let us know how we can help you continue to flourish and be successful, and I also wanted to share before I introduce our Dean, that doing some statistical analysis I discovered that we are number one in the nation in terms of Hispanic/Latino students. We're number one in the nation in terms of Asian Pacific Islander students, and we're also number one in the nation in terms of total number of Black and African-American students.

I'm proud to say that because we are truly not only the largest iSchool in the country, but also the most diverse iSchool in the country.

So, congratulations again in joining those 11,000-plus iSchool alumni.