UOG welcomes 280 graduates during commencement ceremony

After renaming the Fall semester to Fanuchånan earlier this year, the University of Guam celebrated the accomplishments of its graduates during the first Fanuchånan 2017 Commencement Ceremony held at the UOG Calvo Field House yesterday afternoon. UOG conferred 280 degrees—216 undergraduate degrees and 64 graduate degrees, making this the largest graduating class of any Fall or Fanuchånan Commencement Ceremony.

Nearly half of the total graduates came from the UOG School of Business and Public Administration, which conferred 105 undergraduate degrees in Business Administration, Accounting, Public Administration, and Criminal Justice and 30 graduate degrees from its Master of Public Administration and Professional Master of Business Administration programs.

An ‘inheritance and a challenge’

In his welcoming remarks, UOG president Robert Underwood shared examples of UOG alumni making a difference in the world, and reminded the graduates of attitudes and values that the university passed on to them: “responsibility, commitment and problem-solving.”

“This is your year and this is your opportunity to create earthquakes large and small, to challenge the status quo, to not let elected officials shortchange you or your education. Do not let alternate facts and misrepresentations carry the day. Bring integrity and honesty to the spirit of concern for others into everything we do,” said Underwood.

Commencement speaker

CNMI Gov. Ralph DLG Torres was the commencement speaker and challenged the graduates to fight for themselves and their futures.

“You are stronger today than you were yesterday,” Torres said. “The only thing that prevents you from going from where you are now to the greatness you are capable of is your own willingness to fight for yourself—to do the hard work that is necessary, to turn those weaknesses into strengths, and to realize that no one will be willing to fight for you more than you are willing to fight for yourself.”

Dayanara Flores named valedictorian

Class valedictorian Dayanara Flores, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, told the crowd that her community—friends, family, and her fellow Tritons—were the backbone that led to her reaching this milestone in life. She encouraged the Fanuchånan Class of 2017 also to thank those who helped them realize their dreams.

“So if there’s only one thing I can take with me after today, it’s that we are truly one community,” Flores said. “I learned that even if I was going through some really tough times, it was the support I received from the people around me that made me realize that life isn’t so bad. So let’s thank these people—thank you to our professors, our friends, our peers, and our amazing families for providing us the love and support we needed. Now let’s take that ‘Thank You’ and extend it to those in our community. Let’s extend our hand to our whole island, our neighboring islands, countries, and to the world.”

For more on the Fanuchånan 2017 Commencement Ceremony, visit www.uog.edu/fanuchanan-2017-commencement. The ceremony was streamed live and can be viewed on the official UOG Facebook page. (PR)

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