SISFU'S 22nd College Commencement Exercises

Over the past two years, these graduates have spent their lives adulting, being exposed to many new experiences, and living through a pandemic while they faced challenges along the way. On top of that, they were working very hard towards a college degree. Graduating from college is a huge milestone in their lives and each must take a moment to take pride in themselves and their fellow graduates' accomplishments.

Saturday, 22nd of October marks one of the most special days of Southville International School affiliated with Foreign Universities (SISFU). This year’s graduates were finally able to take part in the SISFU’s 22nd College Commencement Exercises in person! This year’s theme was ”Nurturing the 5Cs through Academic Rigor”.

Live from Okada Manila, Mr Daniel Steel, SGEN Director for Communications, and Atty. Exequiela Gonzales, SISFU Faculty, were the Masters of Ceremony for the long-awaited event. They welcomed Ms Ma. Ailene Fulgencio, the Head of Registration and Admission to the stage to present the graduates of 2022 from Pearson and De Montfort University (DMU). Afterwards, SISFU President, Dr Melva Diamante, carried out the Conferment of Degrees, which earned a round of applause from the crowd.

A series of distinguished guests all gave their inspirational messages and congratulations to the graduates of 2022.

From Pearson: Ms Jane Baker. She delivered a short spiel to congratulate the graduates for their dedication, hard work, and commitment. Ms Baker is truly proud of the graduates and she, along with the whole Pearson community, wishes them every success in their next steps. As she quoted, ”Seeing students thrive, grow, and achieve is what drives us.”

Mr Roger Bartholomew, Board Member, began his speech by sharing a brief history of SISFU’s collaboration with DMU, which was followed with the introduction of the next Commencement Speaker, Mr Ian Thomas, Associate Dean, International Faculty of Business and Law from De Montfort University.

The graduates first received the warmest congratulations from Mr Thomas for their success in ”such a demanding time” due to the pandemic. He also expressed his appreciation for their family and friends who supported them with their endeavours, as well as the valued members of SISFU. ”?A DMU degree, it is a badge that you will wear with pride,” he said.

Mr Thomas also spoke about DMU, what makes its degree so valuable, its mission, vision, and its recent projects and achievements, including DMU’s sustainable development goals. DMU believes that their graduates can make a difference! ”DMU Diploma isn't just a piece of paper, it isn't just a set of skills or knowledge, but a set of values,” he added.

Furthermore, Mr Thomas shared some major experiences from his own academic journey, as well as the lessons he learned from his MBA. Here is one valuable piece of wisdom from Mr Thomas: ”There will be people who will help and support you. Take that advice, learn, and advance, but also give something back. Others will need your advice and support as you yourself grow and develop.”

Dr Diamante and Dr Tizon then joined Mr Thomas on stage to award him a plaque of appreciation in recognition of his valuable and inspiring insights during SISFU’s 22nd College Commencement Exercises.

As the graduates lined up with their overjoyed parents by their side, the ceremony then proceeded with the Presentation of Awards: Loyalty Award, Service Excellence Award, Distinguished Service Award, Leadership Award, and Certificate of Recognition from DMU. Shortly thereafter, the Awarding of Diplomas for Online-Blended Learning (OBL) students, including the Merit Award and Distinction Award, were presented. Then, it was followed with the announcement of the graduates who obtained First Class Honours from DMU. Lastly, Dr de Guia and Dr Diamante awarded the graduates with Latin Honours. Witnessing the graduates and their parents take their first steps to the stage From the graduates waiting in line with their parents to walk across the stage, to the second they took their first steps to the stage and received their diplomas—it was all truly a heart-warming and prideful moment to witness as the sound of the applause echoed off the ballroom’s walls.

The ceremony moved on to the Awarding of Diplomas—both from Pearson BTEC Higher National Diploma Program and Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from DMU. Summa Cum Laude, Ma. Patrixia Nelle Amora delivered her heartfelt thanksgiving message to her parents, relatives, friends, lecturers, alumni, the SISFU community, and most importantly—God. She ended her speech with, ”This is only the start. Go live, take courage, have faith.”

Summa Cum Laude, Darren Jacob Bautista also gave his earnest response from the graduates, friends, family, and SISFU staff and administration, who helped him reach his goal—to inspire others. ”Things can change in your life, but it is you, who has to learn from it and put in the work,” he quoted.

After repeating the alumni oath to be inducted into the Alumni Association, and singing the SISFU Hymn for the final time, all graduates could officially call an end to their Graduation Ceremony. Congratulations, SISFU graduates of 2022! You should be proud. You are amazing! We wish you all the best in your future endeavours!

#UnityThroughDiversity #WeareTheBridge #SISFUReachHigher

Writers: Hershey Bulawin, Bianca Dionaldo, & Carlos Espinosa
Photographers: Kitiara de Vera & Chanel Abelardo

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