August 8, 2017
Peculiar Traditions and Customs – Joy and Accomplishments
Another academic year has come to an end in Kyiv Mohyla University. Traditionally, the Graduation ceremony was held on Constitution Day celebrated in Ukraine on June 28.
At the June 2017 graduation ceremony, the Academy issued 758 diplomas,
including 270 Master’s degrees and 77 MBAs.
In his congratulatory speech, Dr. Andriy Meleshevych, President of National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, spoke eloquently and with pride of the Academy’s defining characteristics, and called on graduates, their parents, and alumni to take part in preserving the university’s uniqueness. Dr. Meleshevych reminded the audience that Mohylianka (a term of endearment for the university) is a university that upholds transparency, and it draws in people with an acute sense of justice, who are willing to take action when called upon. He stated that the Academy is also a pioneer that introduced several defining innovative academic practices that took root in other educational establishments across the country. Among these innovations are the External Independent Assessment [Ukrainian equivalent to ACTs or SATs], the first Bachelor programs, the first Master programs, and PhDs.
Dr. Vyacheslav Bryukhovetsky, the university’s former and founding president, graced the ceremony with a brief excursion into history and reminded everyone why the day of graduation at Kyiv- Mohyla Academy takes place on Constitution Day. It so happened that just the night before the day of the first graduation at NaUKMA in 1996, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s Parliament) worked all night to adopt the Constitution of Ukraine.
Exhausted from the previous night’s debates, the deputies came to Kyiv-Mohyla Academy to congratulate the first graduates – at the time only six graduates, but a historic occasion nevertheless, after the declaration of Ukraine’s independence and the re-establishment of the Academy that was closed after Soviet occupation. It was then that the Academy decided to celebrate Graduation Day on June 28 every year. In the 23 years that followed, more than ten thousand graduates received diplomas from the university.
The Honorable Roman Waschuk, Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine, honorary speaker at the ceremony, called on the graduates to be constructive in their criticism, and noted that for the creation of positive social value, criticism needs to be linked to positive action. He called upon the graduates to bear responsibility for valuable commitment.
After the closing of the official ceremony, to the beat of the drumming of the NaUKMA Student Theater, the cheerful crowd of graduates proceeded to the monument of Hryhorii Skovoroda, the legendary historically renown graduate of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. As the ancient university tradition continues, the graduates adorned Hryhorii Skovoroda with a graduation cap, and meticulously and affectionately washed the monument, thus reinstating the traditional phrase “the day for washing Skovoroda”.