Guest Post By Tanya Higgins, Hudson Board of Directors
I have spent a considerable amount of time over the last few weeks thinking about an important and inspiring message to share with you, the graduating class of 2012. A message that would summarize all of your experiences in high school and the many accomplishments you have already achieved, the discoveries you have made about your skills and talents and in what capacity you can apply those in your future, comments about the individuals you are and the people you aspire to be. But I realized, I am an engineer and what I really want to talk to you about is quality. This might seem like a strange topic for a commencement message but I think it has more relevance than you realize.
Quality can be defined in many different ways. It is “a measure of excellence” or “a set of characteristics that, when met, satisfies stated or implied needs”. You have spent your academic careers learning about and focusing on quality. You have each demonstrated that you understand how to measure excellence and what it means to be a Quality Producer, to set priorities and achievable goals, and meet and at times exceed expectations. You have done this in your academic, athletic, and service endeavors. You have each spent the last 12 years learning about meeting the standards of the rest of the Learner Performance Goals to be Effective Communicators, Individual Problem Solvers, Collaborative Workers, Internal Asset Builders, Knowledgeable People, and Contributing Citizens. Meeting this set of characteristics satisfies both the stated needs for graduation but also the implied needs to realize your future goals and dreams.
Perhaps one of the most popular ways to define what quality is, is to simply state “I Know it When I See it”. In fact, there is even a book by this title written by John Guaspari. He suggests that defining quality really depends on listening to what your customers need and then delivering to their expectations. The class of 2012 has consistently delivered to those expectations over the last 12 years. Whether you leave here today planning to enter college, the military, or the business world, you are how I would define quality. I know it because I see it in each and every one of you. Congratulations Class of 2012. I challenge you to continue in your journey of quality, and anyone is interested in a career in quality come see me after the ceremony.