The Division of Continuing Education (DCE) at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) organized on January 26, 2018, its second Graduation Ceremony. Learning is a lifelong endeavor, ranging from pursuing degrees and certificates for career advancement and meeting a profession’s continuing education requirements to attending liberal arts courses to fulfill one’s love of knowledge.
DCE graduates celebrated the end of a structured learning period during a ceremony attended by deans, faculty, staff, and students in the presence of guest of honor and Master of Ceremonies Elie el-Mir, NDU President Fr. Pierre Najem, Vice-President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) Dr. Elie Badr, DCE Director at NDU Dr. Roger Hajjar.
Dr. Hajjar welcomed the audience and said, “Learning, education, the acquisition of knowledge in the broadest sense happens throughout our lives. It happens naturally through the mere act of living and interacting with others and the world, or through the enrollment in structured courses, programs, and institutions.” He added, “You joined NDU, not because it was the social norm to do so, or because it was the normal flow of education to be there. You did so out of a deep personal motivation.”
For her part, DCE graduate Grace Osta Chemaly delivered an inspiring graduation speech. She highlighted the importance of education, saying, “Today, continuing education has become less of an option and more of a necessity; it can open previously closed doors and lead to better job opportunities.” She added,“It is the beginning of a new chapter, and I want to encourage each of you to never relent. I want to encourage each of you to maintain the same spirit you have shown and repeat the sacrifices you have made; I promise you, this is our ticket to your new destination!”
Fr. Najem said,” Life is a gift that we are called upon to discover - a little bit more with each passing day … that beautifully enriching process of continuous learning is essential to our survival. Know that the day any of us stops learning and acquiring skills is the day we admit our defeat and start dying; it is the day we lose the joy of discovering the gift of life entrusted to us.” He continued, “Be perseverant and innovative, be curious, stay up-to-date. Work on improving your competencies every single morning, use technology to follow news and developments. Integrate continuing education and lifelong learning into your daily professional life … Maintain a student mindset, allow yourselves to be surprised by new discoveries at work, and have the curiosity to explore new ones ... And always remember that what you learn is not only for your own benefit: share knowledge and build ethical standards in your own practice. Be invested in your learning process. NDU has provided you with the necessary tools. Use them. Build your life, your future, and your career, and also enrich yourselves in values and ethics; that would be the most precious gift an NDUer can offer to this University.”
Hats off to you, DCE Graduates!