On March 23, diplomas were awarded to graduates of the European Humanities University's Master of Public Policy and Business Administration Programs. Graduates took part in the celebration along with EHU faculty and staff, parents and close friends, ambassadors of Norway, Ireland, Czech Republic as well as representatives from the embassies of Greece, Sweden, Austria, and Microsoft and Holiday Inn corporations.
EHU Rector and Founder Anatoli Mikhailov urged students never to forget the university and promised that they would always be welcome at EHU.
“The university will remain open to you, and you will always be welcome here,” said Mikhailov.
Mindaugas Glodas, the Healthcare Industry Director for Central and Eastern Europe at Microsoft gave the commencement speech. He admitted that he felt strange, for the last time he visited Belarus was in 1995, even though Belarus is closer to the capital Vilnius than the next biggest city in Lithuania.
“Your presence here makes me proud of Lithuania. We can support and help Belarus, and you’ll be that drive for change that will help change Belarus,” said Mr. Glodas, addressing the graduates.
Vadzim Smok, who has completed both undergraduate and graduate degrees at EHU, is planning to pursue a doctoral degree. He emphasized that regardless of where his coursemates end up, they will still belong to the same community.
“These are free, smart people who are creating a new Belarus. We do not use force or dictate; our power is our knowledge,” said Smok.
His ideas were seconded by Volha Karach who was recognized as the best student of the Public Policy Program: “EHU has changed me. Now it‘s time to go home.”
In total, 19 students graduated from the MBA and Master of Public Policy Programs.
EHU is a private, non-profit liberal arts university founded in Minsk in 1992. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the university has been headquartered in Vilnius, Lithuania since authorities expelled it from Belarus in 2004. It serves nearly 2,000 mostly Belarusian students, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs and promoting research in the humanities and social sciences.