The Graduates Who Persevered Despite a Global Pandemic
Much Joy as Wittenborg Celebrates at 2021 Summer Graduation Ceremony
Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences celebrated its 2021 Summer Graduation Ceremony on Friday - hopeful that it will be the last one constricted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Graduates were praised by management and lecturers alike for their tenacity and perseverance in obtaining their degrees despite the difficult circumstances brought about by the pandemic.
For the first time in the institution's history, due to the number of graduates, the hybrid ceremony took place in two phases with the morning session reserved for master's students and the afternoon session for those graduating with a bachelor's degree, as well as members of staff who completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning.
Graduates turned up in droves to collect their diplomas - especially master's students - and a joyful atmosphere marked the occasion. There were, however, still students who logged on virtually to attend the ceremony. Master's student Ashen Balasinghe (MBM/MSc) spoke on behalf of fellow graduates, congratulating them on their achievements. "Today, we are celebrating our hard work and dedication," he said. He also thanked Wittenborg and the lecturers who worked diligently to ensure students' success.
Wittenborg president Peter Birdsall stressed how unique the graduates were by completing their degrees during a pandemic. "You are an example of human resolve - ambitious young people determined to change their lives for the better." He said that although the graduates' financial and legal contract with Wittenborg is coming to an end, the moral and ethical contract will stand.
He talked about a two-way contract, saying it is the duty of graduates to live the best lives they could, find fulfilling careers, further their studies and be happy. "We hope your studies result in a good life, a better life because that also reflects on us. Our duty, on the other hand, is to grow the quality of education at Wittenborg, the brand and the accreditation. Your degree will become more valuable over time."
Birdsall also sought to reassure the graduates about their futures. "The COVID crisis will pass and we will get back to a normal situation, see families more often, find jobs and get positions. Yes, this is a challenging moment to be graduating, but I'm sure you are all going to be successful, happy people."
The graduates were from Wittenborg's campuses in Apeldoorn, Amsterdam, Munich and Bad Vöslau.
The guest speaker of the event was Bernd de Roo, member of Wittenborg's Advisory Board and tax law expert. He spoke about his student days at Leiden University and how valuable the contacts he made there were and continue to be for his career. "Work is something you do for the rest of your life, so it is important to have fun in your job, while you continue to grow. Wittenborg is an excellent place to kick off your career."
by Anesca Smith