Dear Ladies and Gentlemen: members of university administration and faculty, scholarship donors and recipients, families! It is a great pleasure for me to greet you here today. First of all, let me introduce myself. Some of you already know me; some of you can only imagine who this person is. Well, I used to be a student. I graduated from this university ten years ago. I succeeded in my academic years, and I was a recipient of a scholarship. Those days I was like a duck to water within the walls of my alma mater. Today, I feel a little bit like a bull in a china shop, but I hope you’ll understand my excitement.
Tonight is a special evening for me. Tonight I want to express my deepest gratitude to this university which made me the person I am now. Though like any person I would like to believe that I am special and gifted by myself, I cannot underestimate the role of the university in my formation as individuality. It is here that I understood the value of academic success and the importance of one’s skills development. The university years were an essential part of my life: they taught me to be a social and sociable individual who can speak the same language with different people. I found a lot of friends, and we continue to support relations even a decade after graduation. Communicating with them, I see that my success in life is not accidental – the majority of my friends have also succeeded. I’m inclined to think of the common denominator such as university which faceted us like diamonds (without false modesty). I think that independency today play an outstanding role in the life of any person. We all want to demonstrate our independency and freedom. We want others to honor us and we want to be honored for our own achievements. However, university plays an outstanding role in the formation of a personality. Even self-made people cannot reject the importance of their university days and their influence on their lives. As for me, I came here as a freshman more than ten years ago and like the majority of freshmen I was full of ideas, aspirations and…fear. I wanted to contribute my talents and gifts to the academic community. I wanted to become the part of this friendly and favorable environment. Certainly, it was not so easy, and I had to apply certain strategies for my integration into this community. But the presence of clear mind, proper qualities and university faculty allowed me to do so. I succeeded; I received the scholarship while attending the university. It was my merit as well as the merit of my academic advisor and the merit of the university, because I wouldn’t be so successful in the absence of that special environment.
After graduation, I became a scholarship donor. And here is my appeal to you, today’s scholarship recipients and future scholarship donors: be open and responsive. Be team players! Remember that you should participate in the lives of other people, because your help may become crucial for the success of another person. This is like a relay race – you should pass the baton, and then your team will win. Otherwise, you will be standing alone in the center of the playing field with that baton. Will it be beneficial for you? Will you feel yourself a winner? I really doubt it. So, pass the baton after your graduation, that is, let others feel that excitement like you do now. Be responsive and open: we all live in the world, where all resources go round. You can’t just accumulate them for yourself; you should share them with others. The more you give, the more you receive. I want to assure you that this proverb is completely true. Though I was very happy and proud of myself when I received the scholarship, I cannot express my pride and happiness today, when I am a donor of scholarship. This feeling is much deeper because it gives me the understanding of my role in the society I live in. I feel that I am important and my contribution is essential. Don’t get me wrong: there is no self-admiration in my message. I just want you to understand the underlying benefits of scholarship donor system. You are going to graduate from the university and enter the life as it is soon. I want warn you, that you’ll face a lot of challenges and obstacles on your life way. It is only your inner power, will and real skills that can help you to get out of those troubles brilliantly.
I remember my gratitude to my scholarship donors whom I saw as successful and responsible people. Despite their social status they were open and responsive. They saw their duty in giving and sharing, because they also obtained their scholarships in due time. They received the same attitude from their donors etc. So, you see, this process is everlasting. I want to tell you one story that I’ve heard from one of the donors of past years. I hope that you’ll find it useful. Maybe, sometime later you’ll have that happy chance to stand in front of students and you’ll consider it reasonable and appropriate to tell this story. It could happen to anyone. Moreover, it can happen to you. So, listen carefully and think. He is an honorable person working for an IT company. He told that in the beginning of the career he faced the issue of a moral nature. In short, his future position in the company depended on the personal information he possessed about his superior officer. He could share this information with the decision-maker, and then this position almost undoubtedly would be his. However, he always remembered the precept of his university tutor: “The third party is always watching”. Each person imagines one’s own “third party”. For some of us, it is God, for others their families or friends. There is common word for this third party – one’s conscience. So, my acquaintance did not use that dubious chance. He was advanced later, but he secured his reputation, good name and good relations with his senior officer. Just like I have already mentioned, only you decide what your life will be like. Will it be constant fight or reasonable compromise with people and yourself – it’s up to you to decide.
Also, I suggest you value each day of your university experience. My grandma used to tell me that in advanced age I would have the wisdom but it can turn out that I lack strength. Of course, I hope that she would turn out to be wrong. And I wish you to find that balance of wit and strength in your university years. I advise you to work on the edge of your capabilities. You’ll find that it is not as difficult as it may seem but the result of such work cannot be compared to anything else. Besides, you would know that nothing more could be done and you made your best. This is the recipe of the best education – to do your best. You study in the wonderful university which provides you with the great educational base. Use it and value it! You’ve been recognized as the best students, because you are awarded with the scholarship. But even this is not enough to be best. Today you are students, tomorrow you’ll become employees. You have to bring your principles into your life, no matter who you will be in future and what you r life will be like. But remember your university, those people who contributed to your education and be grateful. Life is neither short nor long. It can be measured by your experience, memory and cooperation with other people. It is either deep and full of sense, or routine and senseless. Only you decide what you would do of it. As for me, I can state I am glad that I entered this university in due time; that I developed my skills and gained new knowledge here in due time; and that I learned how important is the recognition from others such as scholarship. It can raise your self-confidence enormously, but you should not forget where did you come from, I mean university. I appreciate deeply and sincerely the opportunities my university gave to me. I’ve used them and succeeded. You are special students. You feel pride and inspiration. Keep that feeling of recognition! It is wonderful and worth of remembering. Strive for even better feeling – the feeling of sharing. Future generations of students will wait for your support just like you have waited for mine. Remember: the more you give, the more you receive. I wish you to be successful and remember your university which gave you a start in life!