Editor’s Note: This is the transcript of the speech made by NMC’s Class of 2020 commencement speaker Eun Ho An. An delivered this speech to her fellow graduates at the Hyatt Regency Saipan on May 21, 2021 during NMC’s 40th Commencement Exercise.
Ladies and gentlemen, family, faculty, and all graduates who are here today, before I begin, I would like to give thanks to all the people who helped make this special ceremony possible today.
Especially, I would like to enjoy this moment with my fellow members of the class of 2020.
It has taken a long time to get here. How long? You know how long. A whole year. 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8,760 hours. 525,600 minutes. Thirty-one MILLION five hundred thirty-six thousand seconds! Not that I’ve been counting or anything.
And the whole time we had to deal with a global pandemic. Quarantines and stay-at-home orders. Homeschooling our kids. Masks, masks, and more masks. Zoom. Seriously, Zoom. Did I mention homeschooling our kids?
Well, John, Alice, are you here? Class of 2020, are you here? You guys, we finally got the graduation ceremony we’ve been waiting for!
You guys, please join me in giving ourselves a big round of applause for our outstanding achievement! Let’s celebrate our great day! Congratulations!
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my great honor today to deliver the commencement address for this incredible student body. My fellow members of the class 2020 and 2021! Think for a moment about the legacy we have all made together.
You made all your efforts to earn your qualifications throughout the entire course. So, the diploma you received today is the fruit of your hard work and elaboration.
Now, I stand here before you as a humble graduate who struggled with my own obstacles every semester, struggles such as language, age, and energy, to catch up with my young classmates and complete all my various courses.
Today, I would like to talk about “appreciation” and “passion for learning.”
For several years, as a mother of two kids, I struggled to fulfill all the requirements to graduate. Now that I have achieved my goal, I realize how much I need to say about those two ideas – appreciation and passion for learning.
First of all, I would like to share my joy with my beloved family and dedicate this honor to my husband, who was willing to give great support to me. If he hadn’t pushed me to start my study, this honor of today wouldn’t have happened. He made me a better person and encouraged me not to give up in every difficult moment. So, I sincerely appreciate all his love and devotion. Thank you so much, darling, and I love you!
Next, I would like to express all my gratitude to every faculty member and staff of NMC. Ladies and gentlemen! I’ll never forget what all the faculty members have done for me. They constantly encouraged me to keep going. They were willing to support me to be able to complete all my courses successfully. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to show my appreciation for all my faculty members.
All members of the [classes of] 2020 and 2021, let’s show our appreciation by giving all faculty members a big round of applause! Thank you for all your excellent teaching and support. Every one of you has made an impact on the graduates who are here today. Thank you so much.
Ladies and gentlemen, in addition to appreciation, I also wanted to talk to you about the passion for learning. To start, I would like to share Mahatma Gandhi’s famous and inspirational quote about the passion for learning and attitude towards our life: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
His saying inspired me, and it became my motto in my daily life and the rest of my life. The idea behind that motto is the reason why I, a homemaker and mother of two, decided to start my study at NMC in my mid-40’s.
However, during my college life, I met many awesome classmates who lived passionately as multi-players, fulfilling roles as parents, students, and employees every single day.
For example, I would like to introduce one of my awesome classmates, Jessica, who has three children, two boys and one girl, and a serious lack of sleep every day. In my memory, every once in a while she just couldn’t help being a sleeping beauty in class.
Even though she had to take care of her kids and worked at a restaurant, she showed her passion for learning in every class.
Also, she was always energetic and smiling. I don’t know how she did it, but she must’ve taken a special vitamin in secret to boost her energy. Like Mahatma Gandhi’s saying, Jessica intensely lived her life to the fullest and pursued her learning with that same intensity. Her energy and passion inspired me, and I was really pleased to be with her for several years.
Ladies and gentlemen, in the spirit of passionate learning, I wanted to tell you that I just started a new course at the school of business at NMC! After four years, or maybe a more extended period, no matter how long it takes, I think I will get another diploma in my future.
Like Mahatma Gandhi’s saying, I will continue to learn at NMC for the rest of my life as if I were to live forever. Also, I look forward to the day when I can study at NMC with my two daughters. My fellow members of the class 2020 and 2021!
We have earned our passport to go to a better world through our patience and hard work. We have achieved our goals through our learning at NMC. We have been enlightened about how to live in this harsh world through various and practical processes for all semesters.
Congratulations again to each of you, and best wishes for your future.
Thank you for listening to my humble speech. Thank you so much!
Eun Ho An completed her Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Education in December 2019 as part of Class of 2020. She is now working on her Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Computer Applications.