Every graduation ceremony in a University is the HIGHEST POINT in the life of every graduate, every professor, every administrator, every staff member. That’s why everyone pauses with thanksgiving and celebration, and everything would be at a standstill when commencement exercises begin.
To our graduates, I also know that this is a super special event for you among all the events that have happened in your life.
You are a graduate with a Bachelor’s degree – and you now feel the deep sense of fulfillment in your heart. You look back to four or five years of study and struggle, years of near despair and discovery, or maybe half a decade of tentative defeat and crowning victory. Today, you are in a state of preparedness to leave the University campus and stride confidently into the world of possibilities and challenges. With a college degree, you know you have a real fighting chance– not only to survive, but to prevail, in your chosen career!
Or you have received a diploma for a Master’s degree, certainly a feather in your cap. You are quite surprised that you now belong to the elite club of MA graduates, a distinguished specialist in your own field of study. You have passed the crucible of fire – first by finishing all master’s courses and writing, defending, and passing your Master’s Thesis. You are astonished that you have truly been “refined by fire,” and your sense of triumph is heard in the lilt in your voice, in the spring in your feet, and the glow of your soul. You are a full professional!
And, perhaps, you are one of our doctoral degree graduates – achieving the rare feat of reaching the apex of educational attainment. This includes our juris doctors, who have completed four years of pre-law, and four years of law proper. You belong to that rara avis of PhDs – or Doctors — from MLQU. Your training has been far loftier, much deeper, and more expansive than any other course in the University. To you, PhDs, we extend our most esteemed congratulations. You will soon join the ranks of full professors in this University, or be a trusted adviser in government or other organizations which need fresh frameworks for thinking and strategy — or be consultants to global organizations!
We have this sense of pride for you, our Dear Graduate. MLQU and you have invested valuable time and resources to your University education, true to MLQU’s tradition of excellence. As your University President, I just have this one request: Consecrate your cherished learning to higher purposes and nobler goals. You will surely be compensated quite well, but beyond the material and mundane, devote yourself to something of great value to our Philippine Society – and to our people.
I wish to leave with you this familiar quote whose author we rarely know. Stephen Grellet memorably said: “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
May I remind you, however, dear Graduate: Don’t miss our MLQU Alumni reunions!