Empowered to change the world

Address by Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Lim Kok Wing at the Graduation ceremony, on 18 December 2010
12 January 2011

Ladies and gentlemen allow me to begin by thanking everyone of our guests for making time to be with us today. Many of us will carry memories of this occasion for a long time to come.

Class of 2010,

We have only one reason for being here, and that is to celebrate your graduation. May I and on behalf of all, extend to you my heartiest congratulations. You have no idea how proud I am of what you have achieved.

But there can be no doubt that the proudest people here must be the parents. To you too may I extend my warmest congratulations.

You remember well the first days when your small children left to start schooling on their own.

That may now seem like just yesterday but it has been a long journey. Your children have come a long way to be here today. I know they are very happy because they know you are happy. And because we have not made it easy for them, you should be so proud of them.

Class 2010,

When some of you first arrived at this campus, I spoke to welcome you. Let me quote what I said then:

Today I speak before you as you begin this part of your life’s journey with us. Three years from now, God willing, I shall be standing in front of you again to speak before you take leave of us on your graduation day.

I have said you would be surprised by how much you could do, how fast you could move, how high you could fly.

That day has come only too quickly. You have no idea how much it means to me, how happy I am, to see you graduate.

Class of 2010,

It has been a privilege to have you with us. You have been a source of pride and inspiration to us all.

The booming vibrancy and boundless energy that you have brought to this university. Your amazing sense of style and soaring spirit of creativity. The fun and laughter you have brought to our lives. All that we will miss with your departure.

Class of 2010,

As we all know, the future refers to the time that lies ahead of us. What we do with it today will determine where we will be tomorrow.

And today, we live in a time of breath-taking change, unlike what the world has ever experienced before. The future is moving into a time when the blind will be able to see, the deaf will be able to hear and disease will be overcome.

The future will always be about making possible what seems impossible today. It will always be about making dreams come true.

Every step you take will either take you closer to your dreams, or move you away from them. It stands to reason that the sooner we know where we want to be the faster we will get there!

The people who created Yahoo and Google and Facebook were not older than you when they put online those giant foot prints. In doing what they did they changed the world and continue to influence the lives of millions across the world.

From you I expect nothing less. You are no less capable. You are no less fearless. You are well empowered with the skills you need to create your own footprints across the world.

Your future is whatever you design it to be. Your future is now in your hands.

Class of 2010,

As you move forward, you must never forget the many who have along the way given you strength and support. The people who were always there to lift you up whenever you were feeling down, to move you forward whenever you were falling behind.

To them, you will always show kindness and gratitude.

Most of all, you will never forget the never-ending support and caring of your parents. You know what enormous sacrifices they would have made just so you may have the secured opportunity to prepare and build your own future.

Upon your parents, you must forever shower love and affection.

Class of 2010,

I want to thank you for the life you have brought to this place, the humour, the vivacious, pounding spirit that is apparent in all that you do, in all of you.

You have endeared yourselves to us all and risen to face every challenge as role models.

You have broken records and surpassed expectations at every corner, becoming known for your own brand of style and humility to all, in and out of this country.

We will forever miss the charm you so warmly exude.

Class of 2010,

Before you go I want you to know, that this will forever be your home. It does not matter how far away you will be from us, we will always be here, watching and applauding, your every achievement. You will always be a part of us. We will always be proud of you.

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 tops of your worlds, and may your futures be filled with accomplishments and complete happiness.

Class of 2010,

You go knowing that you have only our very best wishes.