United States Secretary of Labor Speaks at SUNY Buffalo Commencement

Published June 19, 2014

“Poverty undermines public health. Because of his understanding of labor, Secretary Perez knows that it is fundamental to public health that we have an economy that helps to provide meaningful jobs.”
Lynn Kozlowski, Dean

The twelfth annual School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP) commencement ceremony at the University at Buffalo took place at 3:00 p.m. on May 18 in the UB Center for the Arts on the North Campus. 138 students were recognized for outstanding academic achievement by maintaining greater than a 3.6 departmental grade point average and 112 students were recognized for receiving scholarships and awards throughout their time here in the school.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Mr. Thomas E. Perez was the featured speaker at the 2014 commencement ceremony for SPHHP.  A Buffalo native and graduate of Canisius High School, Mr. Perez addressed nearly 200 graduates.  His speech captivated the audience as he discussed life experiences and gave advice for post-graduation. He encouraged graduates to, “live life with a sense of urgency” and to “never give up” through stories stating, “I don’t use the word failure…As my mother taught us, when a door slams a window opens.”

As secretary of labor, Perez heads the U.S. Department of Labor, whose mission is “to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.”

“We were so honored to have Secretary Perez return to Buffalo to participate in our commencement,” said Dean Lynn Kozlowski. “Poverty undermines public health. Because of his understanding of labor, Secretary Perez knows that it is fundamental to public health that we have an economy that helps to provide meaningful jobs.”

For the full speech by Secretary Perez and the entire SPHHP commencement ceremony, visit http://sphhp.buffalo.edu/home/commencement/speaker.html