2017 Commencement Speech
Today, 794 graduating students will join a family of over 2,500 UNIST alumni.
It is an honour to be able to share this important milestone with you.
Congratulations on your achievements and wish you all the
success in your future endeavors.
In honor of your graduation, I want to give respects to your parents for
their love and sacrifice to support your studies.
In addition, I want to thank the professors and staff members who worked
hard to assist you for your bright future.
I particularly convey our special thanks to the Second Vice Minister
Jaeyou Choi of Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Mayor Gi-hyeon Kim of Ulsan,
Chairperson Si-cheol Yoon of Ulsan City Council,
Superintendent Bok-man Kim of Ulsan Metropolitan Office of Education,
as well as the Chairperson Hyun Soon Lee of the UNIST Board of Directors.
We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to be here with us.
Class of 2017! Will you all please stand up and give your teachers,
your fellow students, and your family and friends a big round of
applause for their endless support and love? You may now be seated.
Dear Members of the Graduating Class!
Today is the beginning of a new stage in your life.
Your graduation is certainly a great achievement,
but that is nothing compared to what life has in store for you in the
next challenges and opportunities to come in your way. Parts of your road may,
at times, become unfamiliar, challenging, and even disheartening.
For those of you, who stand at the crossroads in your lives
with mixed feeling and not sure which direction your career should go in,
I would like to give three pieces of advice.
First, take great pride in being a UNIST graduate.
Bear in mind that you are proud assets of UNIST.
As you begin the next chapter of your life,
remember you will always have a home and family here at UNIST.
Reflecting on the past, UNIST has made remarkable achievements.
In a new set of 2016 JongAng Daily’s National University Rankings,
UNIST was placed first for engineering and second for national science based on
citation rates per publication. In addition, UNIST is nation’s only university to be
included among the 2016 “Rising Stars” by Nature Index.
All these monumental achievement is due, in large part,
to your tireless efforts, hard work, and dedication.
Secondly, never let the fear of failure get in the way of your dreams.
Unfortunately we will all encounter failures in life, but they never have to be final.
Failure is a necessary stepping stone to success.
Be in relentless pursuit of growth and never stop challenging yourself.
Bill Gates once said, “If you are born poor it’s not your mistake.
But if you die poor it’s your mistake.” To have a worthwhile life,
you should never stop putting limits on your life. Set the bar high, and give it your best.
Last but not least, do not neglect personal development.
We are now on the cusp of a Fourth Industrial Revolution where the importance
of ICT technology and integrated network capability are being emphasized.
It is an age of creative fusion where various knowledge and
technologies are mutually exchanged and new values are created.
The world is changing at a rapid space and predicting the future is also not easy.
Therefore, embrace the change, explore the new world,
and more importantly improve your self-discipline in order to survive.
Dear Members of the Graduating Class!
Today you leave UNIST with the best tools and the most advanced knowledge.
However, the meaning of this ceremony, as the name suggests, is one of beginning, not end.
That is why a graduation ceremony is called a commencement.
Walking across the stage to receive your diploma may mark the end of your career at UNIST,
but it is just the beginning of your path to future success.
I am confident that as you leave UNIST you will be well-prepared for your next step,
whether that is starting your career or continuing your studies.
Wherever you go, you can be sure a fellow UNIST alum will not be far away,
and your alma mater will always be here to support you.
We hope you stay connected and engaged with UNIST in the years to come.
Once again, congratulations to all our graduates and families who are receiving the
hard-earned fruits of their diligent work. May the gift of love, happiness, peace,
and warmth be yours throughout your journey into the future.