500 Graduates Cheered as They Receive Their Degrees From DEREE – The American College of Greece
Cheered on by thousands of parents and friends, almost 500 young men and women celebrated their graduation from DEREE – The American College of Greece during the majestic annual commencement ceremony which was held on Saturday, June 29, at the stadium of The American College of Greece in Agia Paraskevi.
During the ceremony, George Logothetis, president of the global Libra Group, received an honorary doctorate from the American College of Greece. Mr. Logothetis was honored for his support for the Libra Internship Program at the American College of Greece, which offers dozens of students each year the opportunity to gain experience at one of Libra’s subsidiaries around the globe. Many of those interns are also subsidized by Libra to engage in study modules at U.S. universities who have partnership agreements with DEREE-ACG. Mr. Logothetis was also honored for his support toward other educational institutions, public and private, in Greece and toward young Greek entrepreneurs.
In a moving and highly effective speech, Mr. Logothetis urged the graduates not to limit their ambition to material goals, telling them that the surest path to success is though duty and honor.
Referring to the crisis and its dispiriting effects on the young, he stressed that the proper mindset should point them toward “what you will do to prevent the crisis from continuing and not what the crisis will prevent you from doing. See life through a prism possibilities and indulge in trying to convert this potential into chances.”
He also warned about the dangers of hubris: "I caution you to be very careful when things go right – always keep your feet on the ground and ensure hubris always gives way to humility. History is littered with successful people undone by hubris."
Finally, Mr. Logothetis told the cheering graduates that in life "nothing of real value or true worth is, or should be, either easy or free. It requires struggle, effort, commitment and conviction."
The graduates received their bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the hands of the President of the American College of Greece, Dr. David G. Horner. This year, for the first time, some of the graduates also received validated awards from the Open University of the United Kingdom, with which the DEREE has signed a wide-ranging cooperation agreement.
DEREE-ACG is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the oldest and most prestigious accreditation organization in the U.S.
Daniel Bennett Smith, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to Greece, also addressed the graduates, urging them to "reject the empty ideologies and promises of the far left and the far right, and to seek to build a prosperous and open society, which not only tolerates but actually embraces diversity.”
Amb. Smith said that "overcoming the challenges that Europe and Greece face today — as well as indeed the challenges all of us in the world face today — will require the same sacrifice and commitment that President Kennedy sought to inspire in an earlier generation of Americans and that is represented in the motto [of The American College of Greece]” – “Not to Be Served but to Serve.”
“There are no shortages of problems in the world, of that I can assure you,” Amb. Smith said. “But there are too often shortages of people willing to do something about those challenges,” he added, telling the young Greeks in the audience that they “have the unique opportunity to help build a new, more competitive and extroverted Greek economy [which] will be able to thrive, and to exploit Greece’s natural advantages in areas such as energy, tourism and agriculture. Although there is still much work to be done, I think that the realization of a new economy is very close, keeping alive the hope that Greece is really changing course and will return to steady economic growth, which in turn would ensure your professional future.”
Commencement 2013 was attended by officers and members of the Greek Parliament, ministers, ambassadors of foreign nations, as well as representatives of local governments and the business world.