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Speaking to 4,000 prospective students and their parents last weekend on campus I found myself bragging on our current students and recent graduates.

It was easy to do.

After all, in recent years our students have established our honor code for academic integrity, and the Colorado Creed — a volunteer code of responsibility for ethical living whose seven guiding principles are etched in flagstone around campus.

In speaking to our prospects, I told them that we want a certain kind of student on our campus. Not one just passing through, but one who wants to be part of our community and contribute to our campus.

I told them that current students and recent graduates have established high standards to uphold. I mentioned that our students are service-oriented and see the world as bigger than themselves. More than half of our undergraduates participate in community service or service learning, and this year the University of Colorado Boulder is No. 1 in the nation for graduates serving in the Peace Corps.

I pointed out that many of our students take advantage of undergraduate research opportunities working on the Mars atmospheric probe or the Hubble Space Telescope. They work to find renewable energy and biotechnology solutions. And they get paid to do it.

I noted that so many of the students who have come before them have gone on to do amazing things like set a record for the number of space walks, create innovative businesses, or inspire a classroom full of children.

Indeed, the standards at CU-Boulder are high, and it was our students who set the standards.

In a month more than 5,000 students will graduate, going on to represent themselves, their families and their university in communities where their work and contributions will be valued. They have carried forward the legacy and are the torchbearers for the next generation of students.

Also over the next month, as the semester comes to a close, there will be celebrations and parties. Be safe, register your parties, respect your neighbors, travel in groups and don’t let the party ruin the legacy.

Because the legacy is real and it is lasting. I encourage you to stand up for your legacy.

Philip P. DiStefano is chancellor of the University of Colorado Boulder.

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