In a festive atmosphere Alba’s 2018 Commencement, coinciding with the 25th anniversary since its foundation, was held on Monday December 3rd at the Greek National Opera, at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.
243 graduates from 10 nationalities took their place on stage as the final stop of their educational journey at Alba, while more than 1,300 guests gathered early to the venue to celebrate their loved ones, graduating from 13 different postgraduate programs.
The President of Τhe American College of Greece, Dr. David G. Horner, welcomed alumni and the audience with the following words:
“In some ways, this evening’s event represents the culmination not only of the academic efforts of our graduates but also the efforts of the Alba and ACG communities to combine for greater and sustainable educational, social and economic impact.”
“Tonight’s commencement is historic because it is the first Alba graduation that takes place within this wider ACG organizational framework.
For this reason, it is entirely fitting and gives me great pleasure to begin this commencement by acknowledging the singular contribution of an individual, who has played a unique role in the development of Alba Nikos M. Ebeoglou.”
Back in 1992, Mr. Ebeoglou accepted an invitation to lead the development of an association that would later become the Alba Graduate Business School, the first graduate business school in Greece. He served on the board of directors ever since that time, and in 1998, received the Civil Society Prize for Education.
During his speech Mr. Ebeoglou mentioned: “To you, ladies and gentlemen of the graduating class, I shall address not only my well-deserved congratulations and my warmest wishes for all the best in your professional and private lives, but also an invitation. The invitation to take from time to time, starting with right now, a moment to revisit in your minds and reflect, as I constantly do, on the two fundamental notions that inform your chosen field of studies and career perspectives: business and management. They evolve with time and sometimes take unexpected forms.”
“Whatever I have achieved in my adult life I owe to my wife; it is therefore quite natural that I now dedicate this honorary doctorate, in the words of a 1960 Broadway musical to my critic, my partner, the flavor of my life, to my wife.”
Valedictorian Ms. Angeliki Kanellopoulou, graduate of the Executive MBA, gave the farewell speech.
“In 2016, when I set out on this venture, in the midst of probably the greatest crisis this country has seen since World War II, I wanted, I ‘needed’, to feel some kind of advancement, progress and growth.
In Alba we found a hidden oasis of inspiration and optimism – a sanctuary from a world that was crumbling around us, as our country, our economy, and the very fabric of our society seemed to be falling to pieces.
We opened our minds, challenged our preconceptions, and embraced a world of progress and evolution far from the numbing realities of our everyday struggles.
“I’m standing at the opening of a new horizon. We are all standing at the opening of a new horizon …at the dawn of a new era …with endless possibilities within our reach. Whether you’ll be working for a small or a big corporation, or you’ll be embarking on your own business endeavors, take our Alba heritage, apply it in our ‘unusual’ way, break the barriers, and make your business truly global – not necessarily in geography, but most importantly in attitude.”
An emotional Ms. Kanellopoulou bode her fellow graduates farewell with the following words: “Go out tonight and celebrate! You all deserve it. And as of tomorrow, get out there and make our country better. We are depending on you!”
The Ceremony was concluded with the empowering speech of Dean Dr. Konstantinos Axarloglou, who highlighted the importance of learning agility.
«At Alba you have been empowered to develop and orchestrate a holistic understanding of learning, a new mindset and a key capability in order to navigate through disruption: an evolving mindset for learning agility, that ignites you to conceptualize your learning in ways that you can utilize and integrate in future, unpreceded contexts and challenges. During your Alba studies, you were challenged to stretch your mind, to create new mind maps and to develop unique learning networks that now affect your thinking patterns, the decisions you make and the interactions you have. Your Alba learning journey required attention, intention, effort, and repetition and most of the time pushed you beyond your limits and your comfort zone. And your learning became agile when it forged connections across boundaries, transferring knowledge from one task, memory or field to another, facilitating cross-fertilization of ideas, to develop new concepts, meanings and value.”
“Dear graduates ‘Keep learning’! The future belongs to curious, flexible and passionate minds! Congratulations!”
A cocktail reception took place at the foyer of the Greek National Opera, honoring the graduates and their guests