2020 Commencement Speech


2020 Commencement Speech  

Graduates of 2020.

Let me first say congratulations to you all. Today, 4,176 students are graduating with a bachelor’s degree, 1,584 students with a master’s degree, and 224 students with a doctoral degree.

Today, you are transiting from being our students to our alumni, with Kyung Hee University being your alma mater. This is a relationship in which the University’s progress will be your pride, and your growth will be the glory of Kyung Hee.

While you are the guests of honor today, I also would like to recognize your parents and family members who have enabled and encouraged you to succeed. I wish them health and good luck.

It is regrettable that we were unable to hold an actual commencement ceremony as was scheduled for February 19, 2020, due to COVID-19. I was sorry to miss my first opportunity as the President to personally confer degrees on our graduates. However, we are looking into the possibility of holding another ceremony for degree conferment when things have settled down, and we will keep you informed. I appreciate your understanding on this matter.

Futurists predict that in the future society lifetime jobs would be a thing of the past, that there would be fewer jobs, while the absolute amount of work that needs to be done would not diminish, and that a person would likely go through three different jobs on average throughout their careers. Choice carries responsibility. This requires you to have a professional mindset and work ethics that will inspire you to give your best in whatever field and job you choose to work in accordance with your specialization and interests. Futurists also stress that in the future society the values you cherish and pursue will be as important as your professional abilities. Whether the jobs you choose are aligned with the values you consider worth pursuing throughout your lifetime, and whether those values lead to positive contributions to the development of yourself, your neighborhood, and your society, will matter the most. In this respect, I urge you to have confidence and pride in the choices you make in your future careers.

In the Future University Report 2015, our students named the following four as universal values that the world needs to embrace and practice. First, we will participate in constructing a peaceful human society. Second, we will dedicate ourselves to creating a society free of discrimination. Third, we will forge ahead toward a world in which no child goes to bed hungry. And lastly, we will be part of global efforts to fight climate change. This shows that there is a new educational philosophy and university culture taking root in Kyung Hee, which encourages its students to lead their lives with confidence and pride in themselves no matter what kind of jobs they land and however many jobs they go through. The vision of “Creating a Civilized World” our University has pursued over the past 70 years and its time-honored tradition of “Academe and Peace” are part and parcel of the new philosophy and culture, which you have contributed greatly to establishing during your years with us. With your support, Kyung Hee University, your alma mater, will keep marching forward toward our goal of becoming a “Future University Worthy of its Name,” and “Towards Global Eminence.”

Graduates of 2020! I am immensely proud of you.
And I encourage you to have pride in yourselves as you are taking flight into the world.
Kyung Hee will root for you as you move ahead towards greater possibilities.
I wish you all a bright future filled with hope and promise.