Camilo José Cela University held its graduation ceremony in honour of the undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational training students who graduated in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 academic years. Having not celebrate the event last June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, graduating students were finally able to celebrate, together with their classmates from the current graduating class, their years of effort and study to achieve their university degree.
The event, led by the delegation of PhDs from Camilo José Cela University, featured the opening speech of Nieves Segovia, president of SEK Education Group, who delivered some optimistic words of welcome to all the students present at the UCJC Villafranca Campus. “Let us rejoice since today is a historic day for our university community. Today is the day that we finally meet again”.
Nieves Segovia also wanted to recall that this pandemic has placed education “at a historic crossroads. At a turning point that calls us to action if we want a renewed and better future”. And to help achieve that future, the SEK President announced that “next October Camilo José Cela University will hold a global meeting in which thinkers, experts, teachers and, above all, students engage in an urgent and necessary conversation about the future of learning”.
Following the projection of the annual academic summary video for the 2020/21 academic year at the UCJC, in which the most outstanding milestones were showcased from one of the years in which the university has been most resilient, students gave their graduation speeches. Alejandra Artero, undergraduate student from the class of 2020; Lorena Bermúdez, undergraduate student from the class of 2021 class; Gemma Martínez, graduate student from the class of 2020; and Almudena Martínez, graduate student from the class of 2021.
This was followed by a presentation from all students graduating from each of the degrees for undergraduate, postgraduate or vocational training studies.
José María Álvarez-Pallete, sponsor of the joint graduation
The sponsor of this joint graduation (both this year’s and for the 2019/20 year) was José María Álvarez-Pallete, CEO of Telefónica, who congratulated all the students on their academic achievement. In his speech, Álvarez-Pallete addressed graduating students to tell them about their future, and how they are masters of their own destinies from now on. “When I was where you are now,” he said, addressing the students, “I thought that everything could be planned, but it is not like that. Life is full of crossroads, and in each of them you have to decide the best you can. You will learn that not everything in life can be planned, that there are questions that do not have an answer. That life has to be lived and not planned. That there are many decisions that are not taken by your brain, that there are moments when the heart decides for you”.
Subsequently, the extraordinary Camilo José Cela University Talent Awards were awarded to the most outstanding undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational training students. In addition, Majed Andiwi, one of the students of the first Integra project class was able to say a few words, thanking UCJC for having given him the opportunity to pursue his university studies. “Graduating here today makes me believe in life again, and that it deserves to be livedAndiwi said.
“You are the generation that graduated during the COVID-19 pandemic”
Emilio Lora-Tamayo, rector of Camilo José Cela University, closed the graduation with an emotional speech in which he reminded students that they should feel satisfied and proud of their university journey, both of the successes and of the most complicated moments they encountered along the way. “No victory is achieved without knowing how to accept disappointment and, of course, without being persistent”. The rector also wanted to congratulate the students of this class because, as he stated, “you will always belong to the generation that graduated during the COVID-19 pandemic”.
“You have come this far thanks to your commitment and perseverance, and it is time to fight even harder for yourselves and your loved ones, with that ambition that will lead you to work hard to achieve that future, which you have marked yourself as a committed, more ethical, inclusive and sustainable generation” said Lora-Tamayo, who encouraged graduate students to have hope for the future: “You are ready to join this new job and business ecosystem that demands professionals with a flexible mindset, experts in supporting their decisions with innovative methods and with fundamentals of applied technology and data analysis.”
Other dignitaries present at the graduation were José Luis Delso, vice president of SEK Education Group; Fernando Saavedra, Chief of Staff for the rector of UCJC; Arpad Von Lazar, president of the SEK International Advisory Board; Juan Padilla, Secretary General of Camilo José Cela University; and Luis Partida, mayor of the Villanueva de la Cañada City Council.
As usual every year, the UCJC graduation could be followed online, and can be seen again in the video below: