Limkokwing University Botswana Graduation Ceremony 2008

Addressed by Tan Sri Lim at the Limkokwing University, Gaborone
19 January 2008

May I begin by thanking each and everyone for coming to share with us this occasion. I extend to you our warmest welcome.

We are deeply honoured by the presence of His Excellency The President and members of his cabinet.

By your presence, you have made this occasion special.

We have gathered here to celebrate the success of several young people – some of them are graduating today, and others who have recently graduated.

I must also extend my heartiest congratulations to all parents and guardians who have joined us on this happy occasion.

Today we celebrate a day of historic significance as we celebrate our first graduation on Botswana soil.

As well, this day coincides with the completion of the university’s first year in Gaborone.

That it was an extraordinary year is due, to a very large extent, to the contribution of our students, our alumni and most importantly the Government of Botswana.

It’s the tremendous encouragement we have received from the public and the high-speed response from a very supportive Government that has enabled us to move at the pace that we have.

I will take this opportunity to thank everyone who has assisted us one way or another. Everyone at Tertiary Education Council and in every other agency has been very receptive. No one could have been more supportive.

We are proud that we are now a part of this beautiful country.
Ladies and gentlemen,

Today we pay tribute to an honoured citizen of this country.

I feel deeply privileged in being able to be here when the university confers upon His Excellency, Mr Festus Mogae, President of the Republic of Botswana, the Honorary Doctorate of Humanity.

10 years ago, His Excellency took office as the 3rd President of Botswana. His tenure has been a remarkable period of social and economic development punctuated with visionary policies that have transformed this small country into a role model for the rest of Africa and much of the developing world.

That Botswana is one of Africa’s most progressive and dynamic economies; that Botswana leads the rest of Africa in poverty reduction; that Botswana’s commitment to education is second to none in Africa; that Botswana stands as a beacon in this sometimes troubled continent; is due in no small measure, to the leadership of His Excellency The President.

We are proud that it was during his watch that we have built a new university, one that is clearly anchored on the transformational objectives of Vision 2016 and the longer-term goals of this nation.

We are grateful we are given the opportunity to play an active role in the building of human capital that is pivotal to industry innovation and essential for societal transformation.

I thank you, Mr President.

Ladies and gentlemen,

There is no better time than now to acknowledge the important contribution of our alumni. They have returned to help advance the development of this nation, and who have, in the process, distinguished themselves by their outstanding endeavours and achievements.

Many of them are on board with us at the university both here and in Kuala Lumpur. Young as they may be, many have already moved into important positions at the university. We congratulate them on what they have accomplished in the very short time that they have left our campus in Kuala Lumpur.

Graduating students, before you move on, let me now share with you some of my thoughts about the future.

As we know it, future refers to the period of time that will come after the present, and the things that will happen during that time.

And that means, what you will be tomorrow depends on what you do today.

And as we know it, the future has always been and will always be defined by the power of creativity and innovation.

It has always been about pushing back boundaries and breaking down barriers.

Thanks to new technology what used to take months or years can now be done in a matter of hours.

The computer that used to take up the entire floor space of this hall is now simply referred to as a notebook – so light you can lift it with two fingers, so small you can drop it into your handbag.

The tiny mobile phone that you wear around your neck is also a radio, a television, a play station, a computer, a digital camera, a video recorder. Soon enough it will be your complete memory bank, as well as your heart and health monitor.

Those adventurous enough will soon be able to travel to the moon for their honeymoon. And doctors will be able to extend human life to 150 years and beyond simply by replacing organs that are not working too well.

The future will always be defined by people with the passion and the drive to push beyond limits and beyond boundaries. In doing what they do, they transform nations and influence the way of life of millions across the world.

The future will always be about making possible what seems impossible today.

The future is now in your hands. Use it well and you will soon be doing things that today seem simply impossible.

Class of 2007, as you move forward, you will look back and remember the many who have along the way shown you kindness – people who were always there to build you up whenever you were feeling down; people who were always there to push you forward whenever you were falling behind – these are your instructors, your classmates, your close friends; your brothers, your sisters. It might not have crossed your mind that they have wanted success for you more than you have even thought about it yourself. To them you will always show gratitude.

Most of all, you will forever remember the unwavering support, the never-ending patience and generosity of your parents and guardians. You know what enormous sacrifices they must have made just so you may have the secured opportunity to plan and build your own future.

Upon them you will forever shower love and affection.

Class of 2007, as graduates of this University, you are expected to stand out and above the rest. You have a reputation to live up to and that I know you will. You must uphold at all times the good name of this University. You will be exemplary citizens. You will contribute selflessly to society and the well being of humanity.

On that note and on behalf of all of us, I bid you farewell.

May this journey that you have started with us take you to the top of your world, may your future be one of many success stories.

Wherever you may be, we will be right here watching and applauding.

Just you remember this; this will always be your home. We will always be with you. You will always be a part of us.