Never Plateau: UGA CED 2023 Graduation Speech of Founder/CEO Mario Cambardella

We are delighted to share with you the graduation speech delivered by ServeScape's founder/CEO, Mario Cambardella, at the University of Georgia's Class of 2023 commencement ceremony.

Mario's address was filled with wisdom, heartfelt reflections, and a call to action for the graduating class. Let's dive into some of the highlights from his memorable speech.

Acknowledging Accomplishments and Gratitude

UGA speech

Mario began by expressing his joy in being present at the ceremony to celebrate the graduates' achievements. He reminded the students that earning a degree from the University of Georgia is a significant accomplishment that they will carry with them throughout their lives.

However, he emphasized that they did not reach this milestone alone and encouraged them to turn around and express gratitude to those who supported them on their journey.

Related: The Road Not Taken

The Three Trees and Their Symbolism

Trees for the graduates

To convey the essence of the occasion, Mario drew attention to three native trees, a tulip poplar, a bald cypress, and shumard oak, on the stage representing the three pillars of the Arch: wisdom, justice, and moderation. He encouraged the graduates to embrace these ideals in their professional and personal lives.

Wisdom, he explained, signifies the experience and knowledge they have gained, enabling them to guide others. Justice embodies their responsibility to respect people and the Earth, fostering peace and equality. Lastly, moderation empowers them to balance opposing forces and unite those around them.

ServeScape donated the three trees on stage to three UGA CED professors that had passed away in the last year. In addition, each of the 67 graduates received a tree as well to commemorate the day and their accomplishments. These trees were Georgia Grown by Gainous Tree Farm, one of the trees Growers on ServeScape's platform. Lee and Johnson Gainous have been providing ServeScape customers native trees since ServeScape's founding. 

Embracing Purpose and Making a Difference

Happy graduate holding a tree

Mario shared a powerful quote by George Bernard Shaw, emphasizing the importance of living a purposeful life and being of service to the community. He urged the graduates to become "rooted citizens," individuals working at the intersection of water, oxygen, and food.

He called on them to defend equality, inclusion, and the underserved. By embracing a mission rather than just a job, they would be making a positive impact on society.

Navigating New Realities

Graduates outside

Acknowledging the challenges that lie ahead, Mario urged the graduates to navigate the contradictions and unique challenges they will encounter.

He emphasized the importance of staying true to their values, ethics, and morality in a rapidly changing world influenced by augmented reality, virtuality, and artificial intelligence. He stressed the significance of participating in the community, sharing ideas, and working towards an ecological democracy.

Drawing Inspiration from Personal Experiences


Mario shared a poignant story from his own life, recounting his graduation and subsequent journey as a conservationist. He reminded the graduates that their time at the University of Georgia is just the beginning and that they still have much further to go.

Encouraging them to design the rest of their lives, he emphasized the need for continuous growth and the pursuit of their dreams.

A Final Message of Encouragement

UGA graduation

In closing, Mario offered his final piece of advice to the graduates: to keep going and growing, never plateauing in their pursuit of personal and professional fulfillment. He commended the Class of 2023 for their achievements and expressed his confidence in their ability to make a meaningful impact on the world.

As members of the ServeScape community, let us draw inspiration from Mario Cambardella's uplifting words. Let's congratulate the Class of 2023 on their remarkable accomplishments and join them in their commitment to creating a better future.

Go Dawgs!

Watch the full video of the speech here