On Monday December 4th, the 25th ALBA Graduation took place at the Greek National Opera, at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. More than 1300 guests, friends and family members celebrated the graduation of our 332 students coming from all 14 programs and from 7 different nationalities. The graduates were seated on the stage along with the Faculty and were visible from every corner of the theatre, filled with relatives and friends that attended the ceremony. It was a truly special event and the choice of the new Greek National Opera, a state of the art building, suited the uniqueness of the ceremony!
Mr. Nikolaos Ebeoglou, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ALBA opened the event and welcomed the graduates and the guests. The highlight of his welcome note was the reference to the first ALBA Graduation which had 25 people graduating, and how amazing is the contrast between this first Ceremony and the present one.
Following, Dr. David G. Horner, President of the American College of Greece, gave his personal welcome remarks and stated “Commencements are launching pads. In this moment our graduates and their supporters celebrate academic achievement – that is a big deal! But, from this moment, our graduates are launched into their future careers – that’s an even bigger deal!”
The Key Note Speaker of the Graduation Ceremony was Mr. Gerasimos Kouvaras, General Director of ActionAid Hellas, who shared some personal stories, experiences and knowledge and made a truly inspiring and motivational speech.
Among other things, he stated: “So, this is what I want to talk to you about this evening. About challenging the unchallenged. About un-learning the “truth”. The truth hidden in axioms, hidden in collective thinking, hidden in prejudices and stereotypes, hidden even in objects, everyday objects. Unlearning means disputing the established, questioning the accepted. Unlearning is not about forgetting. It’s about the ability to choose an alternative mental model or paradigm. “
He concluded his speech with an inspirational African proverb:
“Whatever road you choose, whatever your road will be, when you feel powerless, please remember the wise African proverb that says: ‘ If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to sleep with a mosquito’ .
The last two speeches of the night we made by the valedictorian of the year, Mr. Stefanos-Stylianos Kriarakis and the representative of the ALBA Alumni Association, Ms. Christina Papachristopoulou, who welcomed the alumni to and urged them to celebrate this very special day.
The Ceremony was concluded with the empowering speech of Dean Dr.Konstantinos Axarloglou. The Dean highlighted the importance of the technological progress and the challenges of the future. He urged the graduates to make the difference by applying the knowledge and the ethics that ALBA has disseminated to them in their careers.
A cocktail reception at the foyer of the Greek National Opera followed, honoring the graduates and their guests.