(From L-R): Kristy Fong, graduate speaker of session one and Penina Waqatabu of session two, as part of their address.
Success comes to those who dare and act, says graduating student Kristy Fong after The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) graduation ceremony at the Vodafone Arena in Laucala on 22 September, 2017.
The Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) graduate congratulated her fellow colleagues for getting the paper they had all worked so hard and tirelessly for and for making their parents, family and friends proud.
“At this very moment, I have a magnificent view of USP’s most recent energetic, motivated, and proud graduates - graduates who at this point in time, have a sense to fulfil their own individual purpose, a purpose which has been continuously fueled and moulded by our interactions with knowledge throughout our time at USP,” she remarked.
“We all are a very diverse bunch, who all hail from different socio-economic backgrounds, personal struggles, political views, and evidently we all are graduating with different academic qualifications. But despite all of these obvious differences that make you, I would like to remind all of us here today that the one thing we have in common is that we all envision the future,” she said.
She said every single graduate imagines a future through the lens of ambition and good intentions and this is our common denominator.
“If there is anything to take away from USP my fellow graduates, it is to treasure those dreams of success that allowed your mind to see beyond all the stress. Where you had allowed your mind to imagine a future where your ambitions became a stimulus to bring about change and where your good intentions actually created an impact.
“Despite that being how we envisioned our future, I would like to remind all of us here, that our future is dependent on our actions of today. So become that agent of change that you imagined yourself to be, be daring, take action, be ambitious, and above all stay true to your good intentions
Graduate speaker for the afternoon session, Ms Penina Waqatabu from the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) congratulated her fellow graduates and reminded them that the time for sacrifice was finally over and they had ascended triumphantly after being put to the test.
In a moving speech, Ms Waqatabu said, “as a single mother and a matured student; it has not been roses and ice cream for me but I thank God that deep within me, resonates hope in a dream that no one can see but me.
“I first came to USP with my broken dreams, hopelessness and uncertainty for the future. I had fallen off the bandwagon of opportunity a long time ago with a hope to restore a shattered dream. I felt like a stranger in a foreign land, the newness was overwhelming yet scary, however I embraced university life with enthusiasm and rigour.
“The next few years went by so quickly as I went through the cycle of enrolments, submissions of assignments, lectures, tutorials, organised events, daylighting, study group meetups, exams and many more,” she stated.
On behalf of her fellow graduates, Ms Waqatabu acknowledged the support of their parents, guardians, spouses, children, sponsors, USP’s lecturers, the student learning support team and mentors for the sacrifices and the continuous words of encouragement including close friends “who held our hands and motivated us when we were down”.
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