Ad Astra Class of 2021!

Graphics by Kayle Abad

College graduation is the end and beginning of a whole new journey for the fresh graduates. It is the time to celebrate accomplishments and reflect on what was learned at school, and most importantly plan on the next step of careers and life adventures. With that, Enderun Colleges held its second virtual commencement ceremony last August 28 for its college graduates. The two-hour digitalized event provided an impression of on-campus commencement rites as Tammy Shi, Class Salutatorian, gave the opening remarks by narrating her memorable experiences and how the institution helped her to be the person that she aspires to be.

President Edgardo Rodriguez was pleased to present this year’s honorable guest speaker, Dr. Greg Autry, Clinical Professor of Space Leadership, Policy and Business of Thunderbird School of Global Management. During his speech, he shared noteworthy lessons that he learned from his journey of successes in life. Some of the lessons are, never be afraid of failure because there are a lot of things you will succeed at, but never in all of them and that’s okay. You’ll have plenty of time and you can try again. Never accept that failure is a permanent state. Never be afraid to bend the rules for a good opportunity. As long as you’re not stealing or hurting anyone, it is often better to ask forgiveness than permission. Most powerful and successful people don’t become successful and powerful by just quietly going to their work. An enormous amount of their success is applying their talents in the social world. Never assume you can’t do something you’d like to do until you try it. Sometimes you don’t make it to the peak, but if you have the right attitude to climb, then the view is totally worth the pain. The journey is the reward. Lastly, you can make a contribution to humanity that will extend far beyond your time.

In the course of presenting the graduates, the different representatives of the school’s international partners bestowed a few more lessons. Dr. Christine Demen Meier of Les Roches advised the students to stay curious and to not hesitate to explore and learn, to keep on learning and studying because the world is not going to stop turning. Elise Masurel, Managing Director of Ecole Ducasse Paris, sent a message on behalf of Chef Alain Ducasse reminding the graduates to feel the responsibility that they’re going to have in protecting the planet and the environment through gastronomy. Professor Kim Kisu, Director of the Institute for International Development Cooperation Yeungnam University sent his warm greetings and words of encouragement to the graduates as well.

In the conferral of degrees, each graduate was recognized on the video conference screen with the presentation of the graduate’s formal and creative photos, specific degree and special awards garnered in different areas. The final charge was issued by President Edgardo Rodriguez to the new graduates of Enderun Colleges. During his speech, he challenged the graduates to be different by being brave and to define their own meaning of success. He highlighted that beyond resilience are purpose and action. Another challenge given was to make a difference, to have that positive impact that only they can make in the lives of their families, friends, colleagues, country and world.

Afterward, Sophia Nicole Aquino, Class Valedictorian, delivered her speech by congratulating everyone for their hard work and thanking everyone who helped her throughout her journey in Enderun. She proudly shared the success of her project, Project Pang-Kabuhayan, which empowered two Enderun Employees to build their own sari-sari store during the pandemic. She also extended her gratitude to Enderun, friends, family and mentors who believed in her dreams, and reminded her to also believe in herself.

To wrap-up the program, Ms. Janina Ibazeta, Assistant Manager of the Office of Career Services, presided over the induction of graduates to the Enderun Alumni Association. On behalf of the Enderun Colleges, she declared that even as it was their honor then to admit them as students to the institution four years ago, it is an even greater honor now to admit them into the association.

For a virtual afterparty, throwback photos from each department and student organization alongside heartwarming videos from several faculty members were presented. As the Sustainability Director of Enderun Colleges, Sir Macky Maceda mentioned in his video message, we are entering a world of an economic recession, increasing social inequality and injustice, a pandemic that isn’t going away anytime soon, and a crippling climate crisis that will continue to burn and flood us in the future so resilience and adaptability will be needed more than ever. Taking from Dr. Autry’s speech, this is the start of a graduate’s own journey. It is important to keep an open mind to opportunities wherever your journey takes you and aim for the stars. Ad Astra Class of 2021!

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