“I am honored to be asked to join the faculty and students of Luzerne County Community College today as we celebrate the opening of this new, world-class Culinary Arts Center.  As I stand here in the midst of this wonderful institution of higher education, I am reminded of an old adage I first heard when I was a student – too many years ago to mention – at Marywood University.  The saying goes like this: Gold has its price, but education is priceless.

“That statement is as true today as it was when I was a student.  Remember it as you journey through life.  The things you learn and the experiences you will encounter will stay with you throughout your life.  And everything good that life can bring you begins with a solid education.

“Those of you who are studying the culinary arts probably know that this area of study has been on the rise over the past decade and often leads to decent-paying jobs.  It’s all about a quality education.  After I earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Finance and Investments from Marywood University, I had the confidence to follow a plan to establish myself as a successful real estate developer and builder here in northeastern Pennsylvania.  I achieved that goal, right here at home.

“And that brings me to another point, which impacts those students who will soon graduate from Luzerne County Community College and other universities in our region.  A labor friend of mine is fond of saying that “The best way to never forget where you come from is to never leave.” I never did and I’ve never regretted it.

“Upon graduation, many of you will feel a sense of wanderlust, a desire to get out and see the world.  That’s perfectly normal and understandable.  There’s another old expression that I love that sums up what I’m saying – Ships look beautiful, but they weren’t meant to stay in the harbor.  So sail out from here buoyed by your shiny new diplomas and do great things.  Just remember that this region is your home.  For many of you, it’s where you were born and raised.   Northeastern Pennsylvania can use all the bright, talented young men and women we can find right now to help the region grow and prosper.  You young men and women are the future and I, for one, hope you stake your personal claims to the future right here in northeastern Pennsylvania.

“Thank you and congratulations once again on your magnificent new Culinary Arts Center.”