Adler University 2020 Commencement speaker Ahoussi Manuel-Yvan René Ekpini, MPA ’20, congratulated his peers on the hard work and dedication that has led to their academic success. A graduate of the Master of Public Policy and Administration program in Vancouver, Ekpini shared the importance of listening to each other, uniting, and working together as Adlerians.
Good afternoon, Class of 2020!
It is a great privilege to address you on this special day. I am honored and proud to be the voice of this years’ graduating class of the Vancouver Campus. It is my pleasure to congratulate my fellow graduates, the Class of 2020, for this remarkable achievement. I want to thank the entire Adler community for granting me the unique opportunity to stand in front of all of you and share a couple of words. I also want to thank my parents for their continued support. I am grateful to them for instilling me with infallible values and helping me follow my dreams, wherever they take me. Additionally, I want to give a special thanks to Dr. Sandra Song for her precious guidance and her leadership under which, I am convinced, the Master of Public Policy and Administration program will flourish.
This commencement symbolizes the accomplishment of years of hard work. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour. The road to graduation was our Herculean Labors. There were sweat and tears, and for some, there were burnouts and exhaustion.
- Countless hours spent with our faces buried in books and reports.
- Countless hours writing papers right until the last minute of the deadline.
- Countless hours applying the theoretical knowledge at our respective practicum sites.
- And countless hours spent writing our theses and our capstones.
- Today, we celebrate our sacrifices and our academic triumph!
Adlerians, I know that today feels different. Different because there is no physical stage for us to walk across. Different because some of us won’t hear our family and friends scream at the top of their lungs when the speaker says our name. Unfortunately, the current situation prevents us from being together physically. However, despite the physical distance that separates us, our Adlerian community has never been more determined, more resilient, and stronger in the face of this pandemic. We might be miles apart, but we are close at heart. From Vancouver to Chicago, I salute the great courage and self-sacrifice of my Adlerian peers for their relentless efforts to promote Alfred Adler’s values of equality, civil rights, mutual respect, and the advancement of democracy.
Looking at the world right now, one of the main questions we might ask ourselves is: What is out there for us? There are many unknowns. New challenges arise every single day. It seems like our world is more polarized than ever before. The US vs. THEM mentality only widens an already bitter divide between people of different races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, and gender identities. We must listen to each other. We must learn from each other. And we must work together. We must put aside our differences because united we stand, divided we fall. I will leave you with a Swahili proverb “Unity is strength, division is weakness.”
Thank you very much for this opportunity!
Congratulations, Class of 2020!