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Graduate Speech By Epeli Vualili

USP Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council: Mr Winston Thompson
USP Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Rajesh Chandra
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Council, Senate, FIC and ARC Members
Members of the Senior Management Team 
Our Valued Sponsors
Fellow Graduates
Families and Friends of Graduates
Ladies and Gentlemen 

Before I proceed any further, I wish to take this time to pay tribute to all those who were affected in one way or another by Tropical Cyclone Winston. Our condolence to those of you who lost their loved ones, relatives, and friends, our prayers and thoughts are also with those of you who suffered varying degrees of damage to your houses and properties. Individually there isn't much we can do, but together as a nation as Fijians “We are stronger than Winston; We shall rise, We shall rebuild and We shall conquer”

Mahatma Gandhi,  the finest leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India, in one of his famous speech said, and I quote:

“IF I HAVE THE BELIEF THAT I CAN DO IT

I SHALL ACQUIRE THE CAPACITY TO DO IT 

EVEN IF I MAY NOT HAVE IT AT THE BEGINNING”.

Bula Vinaka! Namaste! And Greetings to you all! My name is Epeli Vualili. I am graduating today with a Diploma in IT and I am proudly from the Friendly North in the Province of Bua. It is indeed a great honor and a privilege to stand here this morning and speak on behalf of all the 1,599 graduands on this special occasion, the Graduation Ceremony of The University of the South Pacific. 

We’ve finally made it. This is the day we’ve all been dreaming of the culmination of all the hard work, many hours of anxiety and stress and of course the sleepless nights. Our dreams and aspirations to a pursue quality education at The University of the South Pacific has finally paid off. It has been a humbling yet exciting experience indeed! 

Like any other new student, our freshman year was challenging. However, the support and guidance of our lecturers and tutors, who worked closely with us, helped to ease the load. USP has several tailor-made support mechanisms and services that will enable anyone, achieve his or her dream regardless of age, gender, academic background, health condition, socio-economic status or other barriers. 

All of us here today, graduating class of 2016, are proof of the excellent support that has been provided by USP academic staff and support services. Their professional advice and the Pasifika teaching & learning environment have made communication with our lecturers and tutors relatively easy – even if it sometimes meant giving all sorts of reasons for pending assignments! We endured and survived the stress, sleepless nights and even TURNITIN, which always used to give me goosebumps every time I uploaded my assignment. 

We are indebted and grateful to have met so many people on our journey here at USP so many wonderful people from our lecturers, tutors, Student Learning Support staff, Peer Mentors, Student Academic Service staff, staff at the Halls of Residence and for students with disabilities like me, the Disability Resource Centre team, the interpreters and buddies for the extra support rendered to us. God knows the magnitude of our appreciation!

Along with:

  • all the knowledge, skills and experience we take away with us from the different Faculties and Institutes we attended;
  • the practical and the internship programs we undertook;
  • and the unique, excellent USP experience;
  • I am confident that we will all continue to shine in our future endeavors;
  • I would like to personally thank Pacific TAFE, USP ICT Section the USP-SPC Internship Program for the valuable opportunities given tostudents with disabilities.

I urge CROP agencies, NGOs, UN Agencies, Corporate Bodies and other stakeholders to open your doors and work with USP to implement work placement and internship programs. USP graduates are definitely valuable assets in this world of change, inclusivity and progress!

To fellow graduands, Congratulations again! Don’t let any circumstances limit you from living out dreams. I particularly love Dr. Ben Carson’s book “Dream Big” as this motto keeps me going so to all of us, keep at it dream big! 

To conclude, on behalf of all graduands, I humbly wish to express our sincere appreciation and acknowledge everyone who made this day a success: to USP senior management, academic staff, support staff, our sponsors, our fellow colleagues, spouses, partners, families, loved ones, friends and the choir with your beautiful songs.


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Page updated: Friday, August 25, 2017
Development, Marketing, Communications & Alumni Office
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