Two hundred and twelve students—189 undergraduate and 23 graduate students—were awarded diplomas by the European Humanities University (EHU) at a graduation ceremony held in historic Vilnius Town Hall.
EHU Founding Rector Anatoli Mikhailov congratulated students and encouraged them to stay in touch with each another and their alma mater.
“I really hope that you will not forget EHU after your studies and will take advantage of our alumni activities,” said Mikhailov.
Former President of Costa Rica José María Figueres gave a salutatory address. He said it was a particular honor for him to address graduating students the year their university celebrates its 20th anniversary.
“The world of today is complex," Figueres told the Class of 2012.” Above the challenges and difficulties, it has a lot of opportunities. I hope our future will...value human development as much as economic growth.”
Figueres added that, while it is good to benefit from education abroad, one should always return to one's roots.
“In this way you will honor your family, your country, and this university that has provided outstanding education to you.”
A commencement speech was given by the Baltic Director of 3p logistics Vilmantas Ladyga.
Ladyga stressed that success was about taking chances and risks in life, and not being afraid to fail. He shared a personal story about a time when he had an established position, but received an offer to become a partner in a new company and build it up from scratch. The decision to take the offer brought him to his current position.
“I took that chance because I wanted more in my life. I wanted to test myself. I fell many times. But after each fall, I stood up stronger and better. Take every chance life offers you, work hard, and do not regret it,” Ladyga told EHU graduates.
The Dean of EHU's School of Graduate Studies Alla Sokolova assured students they would always be welcome at EHU and encouraged them to seek experience not only in Belarus, but in other countries, as well.
EHU alum Igor Zubov (LLB, International Law, Class of 2009) told students that, three years after graduation, he still felt at home coming to EHU. He wished graduates all the best in fearlessly pursuing their goals in life.
Ryhor Miniankou, Dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies, emphasized that EHU imparts a very basic and important lesson:
“You have learned to be free. It is hard, but if you stay free, you will have achieved a lot.”
Aliaksandra Ihnatovich and Anastasiya Jurkevits were honored as the best graduate students in their class, and Kseniya Pavlovich was honored as the best BA student. The masters of ceremonies thanked the City of Vilnius for donating the use of Vilnius Town Hall.
EHU's Class of 2012 includes the fourth class of undergraduate students to graduate since EHU’s forced relocation to Vilnius from neighboring Belarus. This was also the first graduation ceremony that included a substantial number of EHU's low residence (distance learning) students, most of whom live in Belarus while pursuing degrees at EHU.