July 28, 2018
Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Class of 2018: Almost a thousand new graduates joined the ranks of Ukraine’s next leaders
The joy of graduation was apparent on June 28, Ukraine’s Constitution Day, when Kyiv-Mohyla Academy held its annual Convocation Day. Since June 28, 1996, when independent Ukraine adopted its Constitution as the law of the land, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy honored this historic day by designating it as the university’s official graduation ceremony.
How many graduates do you think received degrees this year? The number climbs annually, and this year the trend continued. Precisely 892 graduates were awarded undergraduate and graduate degrees. Add to that number the parents, family members, friends, faculty and administration members and special guests, and you have a crowd in the thousands. The weather was perfect and it was a glorious day for them and for Kyiv.
With such a large crowd, the ceremony took place at the historic Kontraktova Square (Contract Square) facing the university, located in Kyiv’s oldest district just blocks from the Dnipro River. Established in the 12th century, the area developed as a business center and by the 16th century became the land’s main trading and finance hub, and thus became known as Contract Square. Located overlooking the Square, since its inception, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy became an integral part of the economic, political and intellectual activities of the entire area.
This year marked the 20th graduation for the specialties of Culture Studies, World History, Political Science, Philosophy, Ecology, Economic Theory, and Sociology. It marked the 15th year of master’s degrees awarded in the specialty of Finance. It was the first graduating class of fields of study in Information Technology, and Psychology. We are pleased to share the statistics of the various Schools and Departments.
It is with pride and joy that the university awarded three PhD degrees to exceptional scholars. Again, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy led the way in Ukraine with the first doctoral degree in the field of Social Work. This field of studies is new for Ukraine and for the university. The first PhD in Social Work was awarded by the Kyiv-Mohyla Alexander Yukhymenko Doctoral School to Oksana Boyko.
Furthermore, the university awarded double degrees. Such double degrees had been awarded in the past as well, after collaborative agreements were established with European universities. This year, double Master’s degrees were awarded to graduates in the field of Slavistics from the University of Warsaw and from National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”. The diploma was presented by Professor Oleksandra Hnatiuk, scholar at the Institute of Slavistics of the Polish Academy of Sciences and professor at NaUKMA.
Graduation Greetings and Special Guests
“You will be the guarantors of Ukraine’s freedom” – Dr. Ulana Suprun
The ceremony was opened with a welcome and statement from Dr. Andriy Meleshevych, university president. Dr. Meleshevych noted that a key feature of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy is the set of values that guides the university’s philosophy. These values include independence of thought, freedom of expression and critical thinking, and ethics. Dr. Meleshevych emphasized the need to distinguish between critical thinking and skepticism, because in Ukraine, current realities erroneously associate the notion of critical thinking with negative criticism, almost with the idea of “treason”. But the difference between one and the other is that critical thinking attempts to assess reality, to understand it and to arrive at a conclusion, while cynicism and populism embodies a continuous distrust, and is based on negativism, which blocks the nation’s attempts to develop and establish democratic values. “Cynicism and populism have nothing to do with the ideas of democracy in our society,” said President Meleshevych. He encouraged graduates to think independently and assess the events around them realistically, and to determine how they can contribute to their country and to their Alma Mater. Dr. Meleshevych added, “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy appreciates the contribution of its graduates. Remember that these walls are your home. You are always welcome. Come, help, and inspire! “.
This year’s Honored Convocation Speaker was Dr.Ulana Suprun, Acting Minister of Health of Ukraine. In her role as minister, Dr. Suprun has been a supporter and promoter of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy’s School of Public Health and of further reforms in the country, and in healthcare education. She has continuously been a loyal friend of the university as a philanthropist. Dr. Suprun delivered a spirited speech, and participated in the awarding of diplomas to graduates. “If your family is proud of you and your enemies are jealous – you are on the way to happiness, you are doing something right, ” said Dr. Suprun. She continued, “When the voices of good people are united into a chorus, the sound of healthy positive voices can be heard in the background of the general cacophony of hatred. Be that chorus and you will be the guarantors of Ukraine’s freedom.”
Kyiv-Mohyla Academy is proud to always welcome its alumni, and is honored when they become leaders in the nation. Gennadiy Zubko, Vice-Prime Minister of Regional Development, Building and Housing, a graduate of the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School, is such a leader. His words resounded with inspiration. Mr. Zubko thanked the University for giving Ukraine the gift of almost a thousand new graduates – educated, intelligent, caring, young people. “I want to call upon all the young people standing here today to join the effort to build Ukraine in a new format. For us it is very important, because as Europeans say, the success of Ukraine is the success of all of Europe. And the success of Europe is situated right here in Ukraine. Without you this success will be impossible, – without your point of view, without your approach, your knowledge, without your energy Ukraine and Europe will not succeed. The creation and foundation of a European new nation is impossible without your participation.”
Awards and Recognitions
The “Faculty Member of the Year” Award was presented to Natalia V. Shlikhta (Humanities), Volodymytr V Rossokha (Economics), Oleksandr Y. Zvyeryev (Law), Russu Iryna Z (Natural Sciences), Tetiana Yurochko (Sociology), Andriy M. Hlybovets (Information Technology). The Award for “A Practical Contribution to the Development of Ukraine” for presented to Viktoria Vasylchenko from the Department of Molecular Biology, for her research work dealing with arterial hypertension. The annual “Multiplier of Goodness” grant, for a project that inspires good works was presented to Tetiana Yakivna Shuran, director of the Kyiv-Mohyla Student Theater. The grant is part of a special recognition “Oberih” for the preservation of spiritual values of the Academy. The award was established by Oleksiy Tsebro (graduate in Economics, 2000).
Kostiantin Peresiedov (Master’s degree in Finance 2008), president of the NaUKMA Alumni Association, welcomed the new graduates to the Association and asked the key questions of each graduate, “Where should I go from here”, “What am I responsible for”. He shared with them, “No matter what the answers to these questions, I want you to always remember one important thing. When you leave these walls, you will not be alone. You will never walk alone. With you will be your friends whom you met here. With you will be the community of alumni. With you will be Kyiv-Mohyla Academy always”. Professor Andriy Hlybovets, director of the Information Technology Department, who was elected “Faculty Member of the Year” for four consecutive years, greeted the graduating classes with best wishes. He advised them to love and be loved, to dream and to make dreams come true. Mr. Hlybovets said, “Wherever you will travel, wherever you will be, remember, that here within these walls you will always find friendships, support in difficult times, and people who will sincerely rejoice about your successes. A degree from KMA bestows upon you a special degree of responsibility”. “Everywhere to go, you will always be forced to prove the quality and status of this university. We, your teachers, believe and know that you are the best. We know that you will overcome any and all problems.”
Representing the graduating class, Olena Peleshenko reminded everyone that since 1615, Kyiv Mohyla Academy stood on pro-Ukrainian and pro-European principles. Ms. Peleshenko stated with conviction and energy, “We accept the mantra and the responsibility established four centuries ago, which is as relevant today in our times of independence”.