“Write your own story. Find the strength, whatever your hardships, to tell the powerful story within each of you. Write the best stories you can for your families, your communities, and your country. Live the biographies everyone will read.”Remarks to Palm Beach County’s most accomplished graduating seniors at the Scholastic Achievement Foundation of Palm Beach County, April 9, 2013

“As people, we injure our humanity in discriminating against others, and we deny ourselves the richness of experience on this earth. We cannot be the nation we want to be, or the university we want to be, without everyone participating in equal measure.”—Remarks at a reception for Federal Judge Stephan P. Mickle, the first black student to earn a UF undergraduate degree, March 28, 2008



University of Florida President Bernie Machen Offers Insights on Public Higher Education in Selected Speeches

The modern university is a beacon for students, a home for scholars, a hub of culture in the community, an engine of discovery, and an economic force. The Purposes of the University: Selected Speeches by University of Florida President Bernie Machen with executive speechwriter Aaron Hoover, sheds light on many of the recent upheavals within academia, highlights milestones and key moments at UF, celebrates iconic figures and campus personalities,  and—above all—aims to inspire and celebrate young people and their passion. Just released by the University Press of Florida, The Purposes of the University is available wherever books are sold.

“Amid increased questioning of higher education and its value to society, now is an important time to remember the many purposes of the university, which explains the title of this selection of speeches,” said President Machen. “I am hopeful that these speeches, which cover everything from research and scholarship to access to education to campus life, can help shape the debate while demonstrating the continued vitality and relevance of public universities.”

Combining openness to the many changes ahead with full faith in the university and its many roles, Machen offers insights on public higher education and its challenges from the helm of one of the largest land-grant universities in the country.

Photograph by Eric Zamora
Photograph by Eric Zamora

Bernie Machen has served as the eleventh president of the University of Florida since 2004. Prior to UF, he spent six years as president of the University of Utah. He also served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan and dean of the UM School of Dentistry.  He is a past president of the American Association of Dental Schools and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee.

Aaron Hoover is an award-winning speechwriter who has worked closely with President Machen since 2005. A former science writer and newspaper reporter, he is the executive speechwriter in the UF President’s Office.

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