05312024.Web.Banner Fr Mars P Tan SJ

Dear graduates, my warmest congratulations to each of you on your graduation day! My joy and pride and those of the entire university are greater because you completed your academic degrees during this very challenging pandemic year. Definitely, the past school year was quite a tough one for all of you.  And for your teachers and parents as well. So my congratulations also to your hardworking teachers and fully- supportive parents and other family members.

I am happy that you’ve achieved your dream and the dream of your parents of getting an Ateneo diploma, which will be your ticket to getting good jobs and securing a better future for yourself. Further, I am also happy that more than the academic degree is your own formation as an Atenean, which I believed was influenced much by the pandemic in a positive way. The online learning, as it is student-centered, has made you into more responsible, resilient, persevering, and patient graduates. So be confident when you go outside to face the new world of challenges. You have been formed well by your Jesuit education and by the impacts of the pandemic that you have successfully triumphed over. You might have been scarred and bruised by the rigors of studies and the limitations imposed by the pandemic, but as you well know, the tough experience will make you tougher also.  Quoting Robert Schuller, “Tough times never last but tough people do”.

The other thing that I would like to tell you, my dear graduates, is to be grateful to God always. Your achievement today is primarily because of your own hard work. But it is also because of the hardships and sacrifices of many people, your parents, guardians, classmates, benefactors, teachers, office staff, maintenance crew, technicians, guards, the information and communication system people, school administrators, and many others. Without them the university system will just collapse. Thank them in your hearts and say a prayer for them.

Being truly grateful will always lead you to a sense of service. That’s what Xavier Ateneo would want you to become ultimately, that you serve God and your country with excellence, commitment, and compassion. Later, if you need to reconnect with your alma mater, you are always welcome to Xavier Ateneo!

Again congratulations graduates of Xavier University Batch 2020-21. May God bless all of you. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

Fr Mars P. Tan SJ