More than 1600 graduates recognised for their achievements

Graduating students line up to be seated at the Vodafone Arena. Picture: JOELI RAGONILEWA



THE University of the South Pacific’s graduates were called on by Professor Pal Ahluwalia, the Vice-Chancellor and President, to use their education to serve others in the Pacific region and beyond.

“Let us be the leaders we need,” Prof Ahluwalia urged the graduates.

He emphasized the importance of compassion, kindness, and respect towards one another, echoing the values cherished at USP.

More than 1600 students received recognition for their achievements during the USP Laucala Campus Graduation held at the Vodafone Arena in Suva last week.

Prof Pal Ahluwalia delivered an inspiring speech to mark the beginning of the graduation festivities. The ceremony, attended by esteemed guests, including Deputy Prime Minister Viliame Gavoka, was meaningful as it welcomed a record-breaking number of graduates for 2024.

The University of the South Pacific’s Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia delivers his speech at the graduation ceremony. Picture: JOELI RAGONILEWA

Addressing the gathering, Prof Ahluwalia expressed his gratitude to Mr Gavoka for his presence and serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the event. He welcomed all attendees to what he termed the “continuation of the 56th celebration” of the university. He emphasized the significance of the day, marking the first of a two-day graduation event.

With pride, Prof Ahluwalia announced the remarkable achievement of 1697 graduates receiving certificates, diplomas, and degrees. He congratulated the graduates and recognised their years of hard work and dedication, especially amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today is indeed the most magnificent moment as this is a milestone. Graduation signifies the years of hard work, and today is the celebration of your effort,” Prof Ahluwalia remarked, acknowledging the collective effort of the teaching staff and the support of families in the graduates’ journey.

Reflecting on the challenges faced, particularly during the pandemic, he highlighted the virtues of hard work, patience, perseverance, and determination, emphasizing that anything is possible with dedication. He expressed confidence that USP had nurtured academic success and instilled essential values such as intellectual curiosity, professional integrity, and appreciation for diversity among the graduates.

The Vice-Chancellor drew attention to the university’s strategic focus on gender equality, noting the significant achievement of having 62 per cent female graduates this year. He highlighted the university’s commitment to supporting women’s academic advancement through initiatives such as the Strategic Fund, which aims to accelerate progress and promote gender diversity.

In closing, Prof Ahluwalia shared a quote from the “Ethics of Our Fathers,” underscoring the importance of learning from students, colleagues, and mentors. The speech concluded with a call to action, inspiring the graduates to embark on a new chapter with purpose and dedication.

More than 1600 students were recognised for their achievements. Picture: JOELI RAGONILEWA


Ivy Mallam is a final year Journalism student at The University of the South Pacific

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