The 2023 Alba and Deree Graduate Commencement Ceremony, held on Friday, June 23, was a joyful event and held great significance as it marked a year of firsts. The first “first” is that graduating students from Alba Graduate Business School and the Deree School of Graduate and Professional Education came together for our first commencement dedicated exclusively to the College’s graduate programs. The second “first” is that students graduating from the College’s graduating programs will be the first graduates to receive their degrees from The American University of Greece for academic work completed at The American College of Greece in the Alba Graduate Business School and the Deree School of Graduate and Professional Education. The third “first” is that the commencement ceremony was held at the ACG stadium, allowing us to accommodate a larger audience and celebrate our graduates’ achievements with friends, family and the ACG community.
The new graduates join an extended family of nearly 65,000 ACG alumni from Greece and abroad who carve their bright futureproof career paths. Equipped with the essential skills to spearhead an entrepreneurial, innovative and sustainable future, our 213 Alba graduates and 149 Deree graduates were awarded degrees in Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science (MSc), and Master of Arts (MA).
Dr. David G. Horner, President of The American College of Greece, gave the welcoming remarks:
We fully realize and appreciate that the support of family and friends has been an essential element in the achievement of the graduates we celebrate tonight. We also know that those who are here tonight are joined by many others who are cheering our graduates’ success and wishing them the very best for the future.
Tassos Daskas, the winner of the 2023 Alba Highest Achievement Award, reflected on the sacrifices made during the graduates’ academic journey, encouraged his fellow graduates to embrace the future with a sense of gratitude and responsiblility, emphasizing the transformative power of their Alba experience and urging them to make a positive impact on society:
We have been given immense power, the power of education, of taking control of our destiny. We have been taught the lessons of the past and have been given a glimpse of the future. The return on the capital we have created through our Alba experience will not be measured by money, but rather by the hearts we touched, the people we helped, the legacy we left.
Jo Piagialis, Representative of the 2023 Deree Graduates, compared life to an unpredictable, infinite game filled with battles and lessons wherein we learn from our mistakes and improve:
If you give it your all, in the end, you always level up… If you haven’t moved on to the next level yet, then guess what? It’s not the end. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down and play the same level over. As long as it’s one fewer than the number of times you get back up. So go out there, and be a game changer. Because the only sure way to predict your future – is to create it while playing it!
Every year, ACG confers honorary degrees on distinguished leaders who rank among the most influential academicians, artists, politicians and philanthropists in the world. This year’s honorary Doctorate of Deree – The American College of Greece was awarded to the following inspirational individuals whose unwavering dedication, tireless efforts and unyielding spirit have transformed numerous lives for the greater good: Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO, Margaret Atwood, world-renowned writer, James E. Ryan, President of the University of Virginia, and John Calamos, Founder, Chairman and Global Chief Investment Officer at Calamos Asset Management. The distinguished recipients of the 2023 Honoris Causa awards embody the exceptional standards of personal and professional achievements, as well as significant contributions to society, that are deeply valued by ACG. With their induction, they join the esteemed ranks of 93 individuals who have attained the pinnacle of recognition in their respective fields.
To the Class of 2023: best of luck in all of your future endeavors! As you embark on the path of becoming global citizens, remember to embrace lifelong learning and seize the opportunities that lie ahead. Stay open-minded, foster curiosity and be socially responsible. Uphold the ACG tradition by always seeking meaning in your endeavors and giving back to society. Congratulations!