KYIV – This year’s convocation at the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA) was the largest since the re-establishment of Kyiv Mohyla Academy in 1991. The graduation ceremony took place on Ukraine’s Constitution Day, June 28, in keeping with the university’s tradition.
Kyiv Mohyla Academy issued diplomas to 646 undergraduates, 366 master’s graduates, 58 MBAs, and four Ph.D.s.
In his remarks, university president Dr. Andriy Meleshevych stated, “Kyiv Mohyla Academy is a university of values. The first and the most important of values, in my opinion, is a sense of community. We always come to the rescue and team up. Each of you is an important part of the Mohyla community, and here at NaUKMA you will always find help and support.”
Dr. Liliya Hrynevych, Ukraine’s minister of education and science, was the honorary speaker at this year’s ceremony. “The highest value of the Kyiv Mohyla Academy has always been based not on the number but on the quality of its graduates,” Dr. Hrynevych emphasized.
“The graduates of NaUKMA have a very distinctive advantage – not only do they possess highly professional skills, but also they can demonstrate determination and readiness for constant development.”
Minister Hrynevych congratulated the graduates and added, “ You have bold ideas and are ready to unite around those ideas for the sake of creative collaboration that will change the world for the better.”
Roman Nabozhnyak, a 2013 graduate of the faculty of informatics, who is a musician, entrepreneur, ATO veteran and co-founder of the café Veterano Brownie, drew loud applause with his inspirational speech at this year’s ceremony. He said, “When I was offered to speak at the convocation, I imagined myself as Mark Zuckerberg giving a speech at Harvard, Steve Jobs at Stanford, and Admiral McRaven at the University of Texas. All three at the same time. And I considered, what can I say and what can I do?”
He continued: “You may not even realize that when you entered the academy you automatically took on an important mission: to do all you can to overcome mediocrity. Do not be afraid to go all in at everything – your love, your family and your favorite passion. And do it without the expectation to receive anything in return. Because nobody owes you anything. Look for great challenges in life, and never forget to ask yourself this question: ‘What can I do?’”
Prof. Orysya Demska was invited to speak on behalf of faculty. “We are involved in the Mohyla community, and this demands responsibility. We are part of an independent Ukraine, for which our relatives, loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and neighbors sacrifice their lives daily,” she said.
“We have much to lose. Let’s make mistakes and correct them, let’s fall and get back up, and let’s always remember: We are the free people of a free country in a free world. The only thing that really matters in this freedom is love,” Prof. Demska underscored.
Sergiy Gusovsky, political leader, reformer, engineer, restauranteur and supporter of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, greeted the graduates with encouraging words and presented the “Teacher of the Year” awards to the faculty members of each of the six academic departments. Mr. Gusovsky, along with his friends, established the award seven years ago, setting an example of sponsorship and support of education and civic engagement.
The Mykola Kravets Award “for practical contribution to the development of Ukraine” in the field of science, social activity and entrepreneurship was presented to Oleh Dykyj, who received a Master of Law degree.
Mr. Dykyj inspired everyone with his words: “The spirit of freedom is stubborn and without limits. This spirit was in the right place with our brothers and sister at the edge of freedom – the freedom that cannot be destroyed. I never doubted for a minute that we must and will go forward, raise our courage to conquer and struggle ahead. Thank you to all who changed me for the better and inspired me with the gift of the most positive feelings during these last six years.”
Mr. Dykyj also expressed his wish to build a strong community of the Alumni Association of NaUKMA and to contribute to the benefit of Ukraine.
The Kyiv Mohyla School of Law is rated as the best law school in Ukraine. The graduates of the law school gathered together with nine graduates who received Master of Law degrees, and then celebrated together with the current and past members of the various Moot Court teams that represented Ukraine at various international Moot Court competitions.
This year was the sixth commencement at which master’s degrees were awarded to graduates of the Kyiv Mohyla Jewish Studies Program (Judaica Studies).
Source: Kyiv Mohyla Foundation of America