Head Skytte lõpetajad!
Dear Skytte graduates,
It is an honour and a real privilege to speak to you on such an important day of your life. On behalf of our Skytte academic staff – congratulations! You made it! Today is your day! Taste every bit of it.
But today is a starting point as much as a finish line. A starting point to build something bigger than you – to realize your dreams. After COVID, we thought that the world would have slowly returned to normality. Today we are witnessing a dark reality. A cruel war and vicious violence are affecting – and too often obliterating – the lives of so many in the very heart of Europe. Now more than ever, we need the power of your dreams. The power of ideas that can change the world and the determination to turn those ideas into reality! As Eleanor Roosevelt, a great woman and great dreamer, once said: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." The diploma that you will receive in a few minutes also comes with a commitment. The commitment to stand for your dreams and the determination to make them real!
Today, on your graduation day, you will receive a University badge along with the diploma. It comes with these words: “Alma mater does not see the colour of your skin or your haircut. All she sees is the power of will and wings of imagination. Today, the eternal duty to obtain new knowledge is presented to you. This duty gives the power to change and be changed, which, like a secret order, is the distinctive sign of each University of Tartu graduate.”
Today we are proud of each and every one of you because we are celebrating not only our new graduates, but also the future builders of a better tomorrow! We welcome you as full members of the Ülikoolipere. You know - in Estonian, there are two words for the family: suguvõsa and pere. The former refers to an extended family that also includes distant relatives; the latter captures the intimacy, the closeness, and the care of the family core – of what matters the most. To us, you're pere!
This family has a very long history. Tartu and our University have been the place where, for almost 400 years, ideas and people met. Where, today as then, the world meets. Now you are part of this story too. An exciting book where you are both the protagonist and the writer of the next chapter.
I am particularly grateful to have the opportunity to address you today since, exactly 10 years ago, I joined our University. Your story is also my story. As many of you, in Tartu, I found a home. As many of you at Skytte, I found an open, diverse, and friendly community of inspiring and creative people.
I don't have pearls of wisdom or secret recipes for you today, but I want to conclude these few words with a recommendation, or better, encouragement from ancient times. In the words of the Latins – Festina lente. Or, in our words - make haste, slowly.
It's all about the right tempo, both in work and in life. Don't rush things. Ponder, reflect, then act. Also, don't take forever. Otherwise, the right time will never come. In life, learn to enjoy what’s special on days like this. Don't let them fly away in a blink of an eye but be also able to move on – when the time is right – to discover new worlds, to realize new dreams. The destination is up to you to decide. What you choose to do – do it the best you can!
Now, enough with words. It is your day, and it is your time to celebrate!
See on teie eriline päev! On aeg tähistada
Stefano Braghiroli, Associate Professor of European Studies.
Speech from the Academic Staff on Skytte Graduation Ceremony 15 June 2022
Other speeches in the graduation ceremony: