Haigazian University


Valedictory Address

The Sixtieth Commencement Exercises
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Thursday, September 10, 2020


Timoteo Pereira Neves
BA, English Language
Class of 2020

President, professors, administration, family and friends, honored guests, and fellow graduates of the class of 2020.

During the summer of 2019, I made a simple and honest wish. I wished that my final year at Haigazian would be unforgettable. Today, after burnt tires and demonstrations during Fall and lockdowns and online learning in Spring, I can confidently say that this wish has been fulfilled, not only to me, but to all graduates. I am certain we will never forget this past academic year.

My journey at Haigazian has given me an incredible wealth of lifelong lessons, but the gem which I shine light on is this: be kind first. First of all, because kindness is what the world desperately needs. American author Hellen Keller once said: “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow”. There is a lot of shadow for us to look at. The economy, the political situation, our prospects, all of this can certainly appear quite dim, specially after the devastating explosion in Beirut and its aftermath. For this reason, we turn instead to the sun rays. We turn to kindness.  Kindness is also the key to belonging. Like some others at this university I was not born in this country, but I can confidently say that I belong to Haigazian. People showed me this kindness and I simply reciprocated. And lastly, kindness is the looking glass into our skills. Before remembering that we are teachers, doctors, psychologists, social workers, nutritionists, or IT technicians, those who cross our paths will first of all remember if we are kind. Good professionals are kind professionals.

We can clearly see this here at Haigazian. Our president personally greets each student and in occasions has even sat with us for a cup of coffee. Our professors might give horrendous exams, but most of them try to welcome us with warm smiles into their offices. We students kindly guide each other with campus, university life, and, more recently, with links to Zoom meetings. Some of our guards are willing to learn our languages or to help us learn theirs. We see this kindness in the administration, in the staff, in the Student Life Office, and without doubt in the Writing Center.

Fellow graduates, standing here today, I feel beyond honored, I feel blessed. And I imagine so should you. Many of us here rode roller coasters of uncertainties about whether we could complete courses, pay our tuitions, or have Wi-fi connections good enough to cope with our online activities. The truth is that without certain people in our lives, we would still be in that coaster car, yet today we have reached the finish line.

I believe I speak for all when I thank our parents and family members, our friends who endured our highs and lows, our Financial Aid office, and the Almighty, Kind God who made this achievement of ours possible and in whom this university still lays its foundations upon.

Fellow graduates, my hope is that we can be kind in truth, freedom, and service. May these values become our heritage from Haigazian University, and may they color not the letters and stamps of our degrees, but the essence of our lives.

Thank you, and Congratulations!


Jana El Haddad
BBA, Business Administration-Human Resources Management
Class of 2020

Mr. President, board of trustees, faculty, honorable guests, family and friends, and of course, my fellow graduates.

It is an honor to be here today.

I want to start off with a small lesson that I heard at a sermon and that directly reminded of that same lesson that my dear Haigazian University has passed on to us. It’s called “The 2 Buckets”. In life, one must have 2 buckets, the first one under the title of “things in my control” and the second one is under the title of “things out of my control”. Do you know what the primary source of frustration is? It is not the storms of life, it is not the disasters, it is not the failures, and it is not the troubles. It is the misplacement of the items in those 2 buckets, meaning that, when we place things that are not in our control under the things in our control, we will be frustrated, and vice versa.

This year has been one of the most challenging years that we have encountered. However, the faculty has never left our side. They fought with us, assured us, made us comfortable and helped us to let go of what we cannot change and hold on to what is in our control. In one way or another, they taught us how to place the right items in the right bucket. And because of that, we are here today in our caps and gowns celebrating the success of this milestone.

And I can say on the behalf of all my fellow graduates, we will not take this for granted, and we are all truly thankful and grateful for all the soldiers of Haigazian University as well as our families for their cooperation. We don’t know what’s yet to come, but we are certain that because of you, we are well equipped and ready to face anything we have to, to reach our goals no matter what.

As Samuel Johnson once said: “Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance”.

The Fifty-Ninth Commencement Exercises
Friday, May 24, 2019


Ohanes Ashekian
BS, Biology
Class of 2019

Dear Mr. President, deans, board members, faculty, staff, friends of Haigazian, parents, and fellow graduates. It is my distinct pleasure and true honor to have the opportunity to address you today.

Well, we did it. We all accomplished one of the major milestones of our lives: University graduation. This moment is a major transitional phase in our lives, one that should be recognized for its immense significance. It is an act not only of personal commitment, but also one of pride. We all worked hard to get to this day, and we are about to reap the benefits of all our efforts.

We have all encountered challenges and moments of success at Haigazian. It has been a place of personal growth for each and every one of us.

I personally came to Haigazian from a completely different setting, one that was not very tolerant of diversity and change. However, the moment I set foot at Haigazian, I learned that the world could be a place of acceptance and respect. Haigazian is a multi- cultural setting that strengthens our values and not just our academic knowledge. In fact, in today’s harsh world, we need kindness and empathy and having acquired it at Haigazian we are now examples of the better world we have always sought.

Moreover, it is at Haigazian that we made our best memories, which we will carry with us and it is here that we established unique friendships.

As you occupy those seats today in your caps and gowns, remember that graduation is not an end goal in itself; it is instead the first domino stone that will lead to the rest of your lives. Wherever your future takes you, let it take you somewhere. The accomplishments we achieve during the next phase of our lives should be taken as starting points for further achievements. As representatives of our heritage, our graduation should serve as a launching point, projecting us to wherever our futures are meant to take us. The road that lies ahead won’t be easy. There will be obstacles and missed exits. There will be times when each of us will feel like we cannot possibly go on. However, let’s not forget we are capable of promoting change. Let’s not be discouraged and instead take to heart the words of the poet Rumi, “We carry inside us the wonders we seek outside us.” “We carry inside us the wonders we seek outside us.”

I would like to thank our parents for letting us dream and allowing us to invest in our capabilities and seek those wonders. I would also thank our professors for taking the time to enlighten us with their knowledge and experiences, not only about academic material, but also about life. Finally, fellow graduates, let’s thank one another for creating strong bonds that have played a great role in the gradual process of our growth.

Hold on to your values to grow in confidence and success. Thank you.


Mohamad Al Atat
BBA, Business Administration-Finance
Class of 2019


ايها الحضور الكريم

ليس سهلاً ان نقف امام جدران هذه الجامعة العريقة التي حضنتنا كل هذه السنين ، دخلناها طالبين العلم فكانت اكثر من ذلك …

كانت منزلاً ثانياً لكل فرد منا ، ضحكنا معاً و بكينا معاً حتى اصبحنا عائلة كبيرة تجمعنا الذكريات الطيبة منها والاليمة، فهنا جلسنا وهنا رقصنا وهناك درسنا، نجحنا ورسبنا، تشاركنا القاعات والصفوف، واهم الاخبار واعمق الأسرار .

من المتعارف عليه ان اي حرمٍ جامعي يتمثل بطاقمٍ تعليمي تفصل بينه وبين طلابهِ مسافة لها شروط واقانيم. اما في جامعتنا فلا وجود لهذه العادات والتقاليد ، فعلاقتنا بالاساتذة لم تكن كتلك التي يتعالى فيها الاستاذ على طلابه ولا كتلك التي يلقي فيها المعلم محاضرته على مسمَعِ جمعٍ لا يسمع ويذهب ، بل كان المعلم اول صديق لطالبه وكان الاحترام والتقدير اساساً للعلاقة بيننا .

دخلنا شبابا طائشين لا فكرة لنا عن المستقبل، فكانت هايكازيان المنارة التي اوصلتنا إلى برّ الامان الذي يسمى نضوجاً.

لم نتعلم فقط ما جاء في الكتب، بل تعلمنا كيف تكون الحياة وكيف نحيا .

والأن…تغصّ العيون بالدموع ، فهل نفرح اننا على ابواب التخرج، ام نحزن اننا وَصلنا الى خط النهاية، فكل فرد منا سيذهب في طريقِهِ ويرسم دربه الخاص .

سننتقل من هم الدرس والاختبارات والعلامات الى هموم اكبر ، وسنندمج في العجلة الاقتصادية في وطننا الحبيب لبنان، لذا دعوني اليوم ارجو كلَ متخرجٍ ومتخرجة ان يفكروا مرتين قبل ان يضعوا الهجرة خيارا لهم وان لا نجعل دروبنا الخاصة تفرق هذه العائلة الرائعة التي بنيناها، ومن تربى على مبادئ هايكزيان لن ينسى ابداً اصدقاءه و زملاءه.

زملائي الخريجون، اوصيكم بوصايا ثلاث ابقوها نصب اعينكم، فأولها احملوا رايةَ الصدق سلاحاً أينما كنتم، وثانيها اجعلوا الحرّية شعارَكم أينما ذهبتم، وآخرها اخدموا من حولكم كل ما استطعتم.

ولا يسعنا في الختام إلا أن نوجه كلمةَ شكرٍ الى الجامعة التي حضنتنا اعواماً على مقاعدها، والى الهيئة التعليمية و الادارية، خصوصاً هيئة الشؤون الطلابية التي ساعدتنا على تكوين شخصية قوية والتعرف على اصدقاء أوفياء يدومون لمدى الحياة، وبالطبع الى اهالينا الكرام الذين ضَحوا و سَهِروا و تَعِبوا ليفرحوا بنا اليوم على منبر التخرج.