Distinguished Guests, Mr. President, Deans, faculty and staff members, dear family and friends, and fellow graduates, good evening.
It gives me great pleasure and honor to stand before you to speak on behalf of the Graduating Class of 2018.
My fellow graduates, I understand how eager we all are at this point to throw our caps in the air, but before we finally do so, let us dwell a bit on how far we have come and how much we have achieved, so that we understand what it means to be here today.
It seems like not too long ago when we first entered the gates of Haigazian, excited, nervous, unsure of what would lie ahead. Over the years, we studied hard day and night,endured the stress of finals, and sacrificed hours of our free time. On many days, I know we forced ourselves to attend lectures, I know we procrastinated, and I know we always drew motivation from one another. The road has not been an easy one. But this very evening, we are seated here, ready to earn what we have invested dearly in. We are here because through our dedication and perseverance, we have outdone ourselves. The diploma that we have received is an attestation of our resolve to obtain quality education.
Rest assured that Haigazian University has equipped us with excellent knowledge and skills needed for us to prosper wherever we may land. Through its liberal arts mission, we have had the privilege of gaining a widened perspective of not only our own fields, but of various arts and sciences. Through its guiding values of Truth, Freedom, and Service, we have indeed become well-rounded people. However, let us acknowledge that Haigazian has also shaped us into exemplars ready to give to others. My fellow colleagues, understand that as graduates of this institution, we have touched the lives of those around us again and again. For starters, we have made our family very proud this evening. We have forged good relationships with our professors and have inspired them to continue educating generations. In our internships, we have impressed others though our integrity and diligence. Through philanthropy and community service, we have launched charity campaigns, renovated homes, and given hope to those have needed it the most. Through the Orientation Program, which I am proud to have been a part of, we have collaborated together to guide many new students at our university, students who will one day sit where we are seated today, and will look back as I do. Through great teamwork and sportsmanship, we have managed to secure sweet victories in various games, both in Lebanon and abroad. In short, we have epitomized the model character of a Haigazian University learner. Therefore, let us not only celebrate our academic milestone, but also, the idea that we are beacons of hope and catalysts of change in society.
Fellow graduates, when we venture out after this evening, let us take all that we have been taught and bravely embark on a journey in which we seek out success and bring positive change. There is no doubt that the future holds a great many uncertainties, and the path will be riddled with obstacles, with adversity a likely companion. But were there not obstacles throughout out years at Haigazian? And are we not here this grand evening, having received the recognition for all our hard work? One advice I have for all of us is to never stop. In the words of Winston Churchill, “never give in—never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” Colleagues, we must let good sense, which is enshrined in Truth and in Freedom and in Service, lead us to rise to new heights and to raise others with us. On behalf of the Class of 2018, I want to extend my gratitude to our families, whose enduring love and support kept us determined all the way. I also want to thank all our professors for their commitment in imparting valuable education, and I want to thank our university for giving us an opportunity of a lifetime.
Class of 2018, congratulations!
And, congratulations, all you wonderful people.
Hagop Karamian (May, 2018)