The burst of applause and cheering resonated from the National Opera at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center on December 6. The 2021 graduates of the Alba Graduate Business School, The American College of Greece, came together at the Alba Commencement ceremony to celebrate their achievements with families, friends and the Alba community.
Armed with the necessary tools to lead a sustainable, innovative and entrepreneurial future in Greece and abroad, the 334 graduates from 17 countries were awarded degrees in Masters of Science (MSc) and Masters in Business Administration (MBA). The new graduates join an extended family of over 60,000 ACG Alumni who carve their bright career paths in Greece and abroad.
In his welcoming speech, Dr. David G. Horner, President of The American College of Greece, stated: “Today’s graduates, with the support of Alba’s faculty and staff, pursued their academic plans and programs under unexpected, unforeseen and unprecedented conditions. In so doing, they demonstrated their determination, their adaptability, and their self-discipline. They learned new skills and utilized new tools, all of which were needed to maintain their academic progress and all of which will serve them well in the future.”
Ms. Athina Dessypri, keynote speaker and President of the Board of Trustees of the Bodossaki Foundation, noted: “It would be hard to imagine a static world… The world is moving and you are called to actively participate in it, if not to lead it. It is imperative to keep on learning… Lifelong learning is here to stay; it has become the norm. During your studies, apart from what you learned, you also learned how to learn and you should keep practicing it. I have two words of advice. One is to be open to change, seek knowledge, be curious, keep on learning and developing yourselves. And second is, in whatever position you may be, to lead responsibly and give back to society.”
Nikolaos Papastavrou, Alba-Eurobank MBA in Financial Services recipient and winner of the 2021 Highest Achievement Award, reflected on his time as a student: “Looking back at my Alba experience, I recall an interesting theme that emerged early on. As the program progressed, I began to realize that the lessons we were learning were not only relevant from a business or academic perspective but were also powerful life lessons. Although indeed much around us is changing, we have nothing to fear, for we too have changed. Empowered with the new mindset we acquired from our time here at Alba, we look to conquer the future with hope and confidence.”
Following the conferdal of Degrees, it was Fotis Daoussis’s turn, Alba alumnus, Treasurer of the Alba Alumni Association and Marketing Manager at MYRMEX, Inc., to address the newly minted graduates: “You have now become members of the Alba Alumni community. A community with which you share common experiences gained along the amazing journey towards your degrees. For twenty-seven years, our Association maintains the feeling of Belonging strong and the Learning process alive, amongst the more than 5,000 distinguished professionals in the private and public sectors, organizations and NGOs in Greece and all over the world. We urge you to stay close to your Association and to our School and help sustain and propagate Alba’s culture that we all know, share and cherish.”
Urging the graduates to learn with purpose, Dr. Konstantinos Axarloglou, Dean of Alba Graduate Business School, The American College of Greece, said: “By joining Alba, you decided to become part of a School that aspires to educate leaders of tomorrow by inspiring learners, rather than managing students. A School that diffuses standards of excellence that drive high performance, by encouraging personal development and growth. A ‘Business Unusual’ School context that nurtures collaborative learning, co-creations, teamwork and belongingness. An educational institution – The American College of Greece – that is driven by the message of its founders, ‘Non ministrari sed ministrare,’ – ‘Not to be served, but to serve.’ Dear graduates, keep learning with purpose. As Theodore Papalexopoulos, one of the founding fathers of our School said: ‘We all have the duty to plant a legacy for our society!’”
Class of 2021, we are proud of your achievements, your perseverance in the face of adversity, and your success! As you enter this era of Servant Leadership remember to be empathizing, help others unleash their energy and unfold their charisma and never forget to look for meaning in everything you do! Wishing you the best of luck in your future endeavors!