2022 Graduation: Always #SeizeTheMoments
It takes a village to raise a child. A community to educate them. A society to teach them. And when the child succeeds, they all get together to celebrate. That was the spirit of the 18th Graduation Ceremony here at Strathmore as we gave the powers to read to the Class of 2022.
Bright and early Friday morning, parents and graduates streamed in. The otherwise busy and buzzing Students Center was quiet and deserted, but the rest of the University was alive with the excitement of the day. And oh how exciting it was! When we attend a wedding, invited guests may feel like it’s all about the bride and groom. When we attend a graduation, the sense of community could almost bring you to tears. Classmates who got to know each other through late nights and early mornings, parents and guardians who offered support in every way they could, and faculty and staff who dedicated themselves to providing excellent education. Everyone gets together and shares in the success of the day.
Each year, after the academic procession makes its way to the podium, the Valedictorian kicks off the series of speeches. A very appropriate place to start, because the valedictorian understands, more than anyone, the university journey. This year’s valedictorian, Michelle Oguya spoke to her fellow graduates, highlighting some of the most unique aspects of the Stratizen experience. “When the gazebos came out, we dominated those spaces, with one person holding down the fort for more than 30 minutes before the whole crew came”. You know those gazebos around STMB – getting a spot is a competitive experience! But more than the fun times, she recognized that her class had been through a lot, learning through COVID-19. The funny experiences of the neighbour’s new goat bleating right when you got into a class, to the more serious struggles of online learning. The class of 2022 showed true resilience and grit in the face of a global pandemic. “In all that we do, may we carry forward, with the strength, diligence and fortitude of character that SU has instilled in us,” Michelle Oguya.
Graduation is quite often considered to be the end of an era and the beginning of the rest of one’s life, making it a prime opportunity to impart wisdom on graduates as they begin the adulting phase of life. Both the Vice Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor left the graduates with much to think about. “Our Founder, St. Josemaría Escrivá had a clarion call of working together towards the same aim, in spite of different backgrounds. I urge you not to depart from this as it has been your way of life for the past 4 years”. Dr. Vincent Ogutu drew part of his speech from the University’s motto; That All May Be One and encouraged the students to carry forward the values they have learned while on campus. The Pro-Chancellor, Rev. Dr. Silvano Ochuodho in his speech, narrowed down to the theme of the year Freedom and Responsibility, “In exercising our responsibilities, we’ve grown in understanding of what freedom is. We’ve now come to see how our freedom demands these responsibilities, in a special way regarding what we do for others.” He felt assured that as the graduates go out, each one of them carries forward to the world a commitment to make the world a truly better place.
The graduates, all dressed up, sat patiently through speeches, waiting for the big moment; conferment of the degrees. One by one, the respective Deans of each school stepped forward and read out the names of their graduates. Starting with the School of Tourism and Hospitality and ending with Strathmore University Business School, the students stood together, had their degrees conferred upon them, turned the tassel and officially became university graduates. Finally, the graduates of masters and doctoral programs had their degrees conferred upon them.
The two newest PhD holders; Dr. Albert Ochieng Abang’a and Dr, Erastus Musembi Mbithi had their much-deserved moments of glory on stage showing off their hard-earned doctorate degrees to crowds of their cheering students and proud families.
The class of 2022 now turn to face a world full of opportunities, high highs and low lows. They stand together in life just as they did the last four years. And behind them, their family, friends, faculty and staff, supporting and cheering them on in all they do next.
Congratulations Class of 2022!
This article was written by Celia Kinuthia.
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