September 2 was a very special day for CIIT College as this was our graduation day. A total of 99 students left CIIT’s halls that day, led by valedictorian Justin Shotwell. In his speech, Justin looked back at how the small changes that he made to himself after high school led to big improvements in his college life as a whole.
On Looking Back
The commencement speaker for the event was Leonida Calagui, Director IV for the Commission on Higher Education NCR. In her speech, she highlighted the tenacity of both students and parents. She emphasized that everyone present at the graduation celebration was responsible for the success of the students. She congratulated the teachers for molding the students, the parents for doing whatever they could to put their kids through school, and the students for doing their best and staying strong despite the challenges of college life.
Dr. Calagui told the students to never forget where they came from, to always be proud of their school, to stay humble and never let their success get to their heads. She encouraged them to constantly improve themselves and to always remember to do what is right. Her parting message, fitting for her talk, was for the graduates to never forget their parents; that before anything and anyone else, that the children make sure that their parents are all settled and provided for.
After Dr. Calagui’s speech came the distribution of Academic Awards for our outstanding students. JC Garcia and his short film “Manghahabi”, and Hannah Cuenco for her animated short “Child of Books”, were given the best thesis awards. Academic Distinctions were also given.
The Real World Awaits
After the distribution of awards came an inspirational talk by technopreneur Allan Tan, the founder of Ideyatech and Founders Institute. Much like Dr. Calagui’s speech, Mr. Tan emphasized that the graduates will now enter “the real world” and that sometimes, things won’t go their way. He reminded them that when they get knocked down, they should always get back up, dust themselves off, and go once more into the fray.
After Mr. Tan came everyone’s favorite part: the main event, the final step, the distribution of diplomas. Everyone had their moment on stage, complete with handshakes and photos with their parents/guardians. This was the end goal for everyone. Those few seconds on stage, their names echoing in the venue, this was the final call for our graduates.
We’re all very proud of you, Batch 2017. Remember that if the “real world” becomes too much, you’re always welcome here. Congrats and good luck!