Computer Frontier Topic of UT Commencement Speech

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s 2,650 spring graduates were admonished to embrace and shape the emerging computer-based frontier known as cyberspace.

Paula Kaufman, UT professor and dean of libraries, delivered the commencement address Friday at Thompson-Boling arena.

Kaufman called the massive computer network known as the Internet, “the greatest leap in human communication since Gutenberg” (the first printing press), and “the foremost technical advance since the industrial revolution.

“For the sake of democracy, you cannot afford to be neutral, passive observers at a time that demands active participation and leadership to address issues of profound importance in cyberspace and the world affected by it,” she said.

Kaufman warned the graduates to be diligent in shaping societal issues such as the information gap between the rich and poor, decency and on-line privacy.

Contact: Yvonne Loveday (423-974-2225)

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