MSU 16th Convocation – A Time to Celebrate

It was hard for me to contain my excitement as I scanned the hustle-bustle that went on in the U-square and the steps leading to the Chancellor Hall on the morning of January 24th. As I glimpse the graduates getting ready for their procession into the Hall, they looked their best and they epitomized success, satisfaction and grace.  I couldn’t help but also noticed the eager parents, beaming with pride and joy as their sons and daughters took that stride while the morning breeze gently blew their graduation robes, creating that sense of academic glamour.    To all graduates, it was your day, you deserve every minute of it.

Like always, a convocation day is a special day to the MSU community and the 16th Convocation is no exception. Two Honorary Doctorates were awarded to; Chancellor Mizuta of Josai University (JU), Japan and Professor Kshanika the Chairperson of the University Grants Commission (UGC) of Sri Lanka. These are two very special women leaders who have contributed significantly to the development of education and research in their respective countries. As the Chancellor of one of Japan’s best universities, Professor Mizuta has been forthcoming on the internationalization activities of JU and the role of women in today’s society. The staff and students mobility and research activities between JU and MSU are two examples of the global efforts that Professor Mizuta is committed to.  Likewise, Professor Kshanika has been instrumental in her effort in the collaboration effort between the University of Colombo and MSU while she was the Vice Chancellor of the former.  Her current tenure as the UGC’s Chairperson has seen the emergence of Sri Lanka as a prominent education centre within the South Asian region. The    convocation also saw that out of the 1222 graduates present to receive their scrolls from the Chancellor, fifty-four high achievers received the various categories of awards for excellence.

In my convocation address I had mentioned that, more often than not, we tend to forget appreciating all the good things in life. Perhaps, in the haste of excitement or being too overcome with jubilation, we miss to say the two most simple words “Thank You” to all those who deserve it. This was my basic reminder to the Class of 2015.

And so while celebrating the success of the Class of 2015, I paid a special tribute to the women whom I strongly feel deserve a very big “Thank You”.  To Her Majesty the Chancellor, the symbol of our strength and prestige, we owe our gratitude for her grace and support towards our cause. To Chancellor Mizuta and Professor Kshanika, may your leaderships inspire others as well. To our Vice Chancellor and all female faculty members, they have been the pillars of our development and a great team to work with.  To all mothers, you are the best ‘teachers’ of all times and without you all our successes today would have been meaningless. To all female graduates, my heartiest congratulations and I firmly believe that if you could come this far, you can definitely travel further on this long road to success.

Little do we realize what impact saying “Thank You” can mean to those who have a role to play in our success. It completes the process of interaction, it is an icing on the cake and it generates positive human emotions because it comes from the heart.  And “Thank You” does not have to be necessarily verbal; it can be communicated through actions, a token, a card and many other forms of expressions that our creative thoughts suggest. Try it with consistency and watch what difference it could make to you and those around you.

During the convocation rehearsal I had the opportunity to speak to some of the graduates, I am pleased to note that many of them have begun working in their respective fields. I have also learnt that some have initiated their own enterprises with some having started doing so even while they were still students of MSU. To these young entrepreneurs I give them my full support and encouragement, and I commend on their drive to be independent and to be a part of the 95 per cent employable graduates of MSU. I hope that the learning experiences gained have equipped them with the necessary tools and skills.

I have also learnt that some have begun their further studies either at MSU or at institutions of higher learning overseas or locally.  I wish you success and I appreciate your commitment to acquire a deeper knowledge in your chosen field.

For whatever plans that you have laid, the important thing is to stay true to the MSU tradition which is striving for excellence. Go forth and give your best, and remember there are no limits to success.

Thank you all for a fabulous convocation ceremony.

Prof Tan Sri Dato’ Wira Dr Mohd Shukri Ab. Yajid