Dr. William “Bill” Cleveland Bosher Jr., public policy expert and former Virginia superintendent of education, urged University of Mary Washington graduates to hold onto their passion and enthusiasm as they continue in their future paths. Bosher spoke at the University of Mary Washington’s graduate commencement ceremony on Friday, May 10.
“I would say to those of you today with new skills and new knowledge: the day that you cease to be excited about young people, I don’t want you teaching mine,” Bosher said. “The day that you cease to be excited about your business or your company or what you sell or what you provide as a service, I don’t want to buy it. Because part of this is not just being prepared with new skills and knowledge, but part of it is the excitement that you have.”
Bosher addressed more than 1,000, including graduates, family members, friends and faculty, gathered in the William M. Anderson Center. A total of 249 graduate degrees were awarded, including 111 Master of Education degrees, 87 Master of Business Administration degrees, 34 Master of Science in Elementary Education degrees and 15 Master of Science in Management Information Systems degrees. Two graduates received both the MBA and the MSMIS in a dual-degree program.
For Bosher, positive traits like dependability and teamwork hold more weight than a grade point average or academic knowledge alone.
“When people call me for references, they don’t first ask about the GPA,” he said. “First they ask: What is their attendance? Second, they ask: Do they get along with people?”
In his address, he urged graduates to remember the personal sacrifices they made to achieve their goals. He advised them, as they move forward, to create a plan, remain goals-oriented and take time to celebrate their achievements.
Bosher has been a teacher, principal, state director, local superintendent of two districts with more than 35,000 students and the superintendent of public instruction for the commonwealth of Virginia. He currently serves as distinguished professor of public policy and education at Virginia Commonwealth University and executive director of the Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute, a legislative entity focused on research, training and policy analysis.
Named the arts administrator of the year by the Kennedy Center, Bosher is the only superintendent in Virginia to be named twice as the Superintendent of the Year. He has served as a consultant in more than 35 states and a dozen foreign countries on topics related to educational law and finance, policy analysis, standards development, school evaluations and human relations.
The co-author of “Law and Education: Contemporary Issues and Court Decisions” and “The School Law Handbook, What Every Leader Needs to Know,” Bosher is the board chairman of Edvantia, a research and evaluation nonprofit, and is a fellow of SchoolNet and the Urban Health Initiative.
Steve Pemberton, business executive, motivational speaker and noted author, will deliver the undergraduate commencement address on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. on Ball Circle.