The autumn graduation sessions comes to a close today, and what an inspiration it’s been to bear witness to the multitudes who were capped. This is a time for graduates of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) to reflect upon the journey that they have just completed; a journey which at times represented one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of their lives. They will now embark on a different journey as the custodians of our nation’s youth and future.
Close to 5 000 students across six faculties, and in as many as 335 different qualifications, will graduated from NMMU in 15 ceremonies hosted in George and Nelson Mandela Bay from Thursday, 7 April. These ceremonies are intended to mark the end of one phase of their lives and the beginning of a new one in which they are now leaders and achievers.
To reach this point was an important achievement to many students. The personal attributes that carried the through their studies – passion, commitment, and openness to learning – will remain important throughout their lives. They should nurture them because they will be even more important than what they have learned.
“I hope we have provided you with an opportunity to excel and I hope it was an inspiring one. I’m now pleading with you to make an opportunity for the next generation, particularly those who are vulnerable and need that helping hand – just to touch them and create possibilities of renewal in their own lives”, said the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Derrick Swarts, at the George campus graduation ceremony on Thursday, 7 April.
Where to from here? The answer to that question is as varied as the students who make up the year’s 2016 graduation class
To all the graduates, I wish you the best for your lives. Embrace the challenges and get ahead of the change. Find purpose and play your part in shaping the new world. You can do it and my best wishes are with you. Once again, congratulations. You made it!