Dear graduates and family,
It is an absolute pleasure to be here today. Every year, amazing individuals graduate from Atlantic International University into the wider world to become our ambassadors, showing the world the essence of life and how it ought to be lived. The values of respect, service, integrity, excellence, humanity, innovation, creativity and more embedded in every student of Atlantic International University not only prepare them for life but makes them stand out in life.
Today is your graduation ceremony. It means today is your turn. It also means we are sending you forth into the world to become ambassadors, to represent us in good light, to shine like the stars that you are. Today, this baton is passed onto you to not only be a light in your world but also to kindle the fire of others everywhere you go.
Today I want to urge you to stand up for your rights and the rights of others too. I want to urge you to be creative and innovative and put this gift you have received to good use for the benefit of your world.
Today as a graduate is your responsibility to use this gift wisely. If you are wondering what gift I’m talking about, I’m talking about the gift of education. Yes, you all have been given a gift
You must always remember that anything and everything in life, when misused can be harmful,
Let your education not be used to oppress others but to uplift others.
Let your education not be used for self-gain alone but for the gains of others as well.
Let your mind not be set on profit but on service.
Be innovative, be creative, and be a game changer.
Robert F. Kennedy once said, “each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
As you step into the wider world today, never forget to stand up for good ideals. Never forget to stand up for your rights and the rights of your neighbor. Never forget to strike out against injustice. Send out that tiny little ripple of hope. Do your bit, and your bit might just be enough.
I conclude with these questions, have you found yourself? Your essence? Your purpose? Serve others, and you will. There is so much good that can be done in our world. If you can’t find one, create one. We are blessed with incredible minds capable of creating. Let’s all put it to positive use.
I end with a thought for everyone watching this, “how beautiful this connected world can be if all of us make an effort to integrate humans from diverse cultures and kindle the human spirit to create, enhance, build and serve each other.”
Congratulations AIU Graduates!
Dr. Jose Mercado