The first convocation of St Joseph University (SJU) was held at the varsity’s Sovima campus on Monday, which was attended by apostolic nuncio (Vatican’s ambassador to India and Nepal) Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli and deputy chief minister Y Patton.
In his brief speech, Girelli acknowledged the faculty of the university for nurturing the skills and talents of students. He said convocations were an occasion to help everyone realise and respect the dignity of every individual, irrespective of caste, creed, religion and gender.
He also wished all graduates the very best in life. Altogether 460 students were conferred with degree certificates at the convocation programme.
Speaking on the occasion, Patton urged all graduating students to dream for a better future and work hard to making it a reality. He remarked that the maturity of a society must be judged in terms of the consciousness of its young generation towards their obligation and duties to society.
Encouraging the students not to be disappointed by failures in life, he said the purpose of education was to engage in character building, life building and assimilation of ideas with the ultimate goal of having an ideal society.
He said the future of Nagaland was in the hands of the youth, adding that they had huge responsibilities on their shoulders.
Patton noted that the convocation was a defining moment for all, while urging the students to look back at the various challenges they had overcome and also look forward for those that lied ahead.
He also asked them to remember the efforts of all those who had supported them during their journey. “The sacrifices of your family, teachers, guides and all faculty members in terms of finance, time and accumulation of responsibilities that allowed you to focus on you studies and the institutional environment that contributed to your growth should not be underestimated,” he stressed.
Patton said education did not stop once someone earned a degree, adding that it was a lifelong process. He mentioned that the beauty of knowledge was that the more one read, the more one realised how less he or she knew.
Noting that they would now be moving out of the confines of their college and universities and entering the real world, he cautioned the students that the transition might pose problems for some. But, he said he was optimistic that the value system and knowledge acquired during their academic session would enable them to face the world with confidence.
Urging them to be guided by ambitions, he however stressed that they should not to be totally governed by them, maintaining that it was normal to have ambitions but when one was wholly entrenched in it without realising the concept of limitation, this could lead to desperation and discontentment.
He acknowledged SJU for playing a promising role in moulding young men and women with high level of social responsibilities. He maintained that educational institutions played an important role in igniting young minds and grooming them for a proactive role in public participation.
He ended his speech by quoting Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” and called on all the students to prove it.
Earlier, invocation was offered by superior general, MMI, rev Fr Joseph William Pathiraj, while the keynote address was delivered by SJU pro chancellor and Kohima Bishop rev Dr James Thoppil.