Valedictory Address

Margareth Yagaza, BScN Class of 2016

Dear honourable guest of honour, Members of AKU administration, faculty, staff, graduating Class of 2015, our loving family members and friends, ladies and gentlemen.  Good Afternoon!

In the presence of the Almighty God we are standing before you filled with immense joys.  It is with grateful hearts that we lift our hearts to thank God for all His abundant and everlasting blessings. This far the Lord has brought us. 

We take this opportunity to thank all of you for coming to celebrate with us and witness our academic accomplishments at all levels. To my fellow grandaunts, congratulations for your self-determination and for remaining highly motivated in your academic aspiration. We've made it. We've finally made it. We are graduating. Congratulations to all of us! 

I take this moment to share with you a few famous words that gave us great inspiration as we worked through assignments to meet submission dates. These words are from Rev. Dr​ Martin Luther King, Jr. one of the giant civil movement leaders of the last century. Seemingly, faced with challenges, this is what he had to say, if I may quote:  

“If you can’t fly then run,

 If you can’t run then walk, 

 If you can’t walk then crawl, 

 But whatever you do, 

 You have to keep moving forward.”

In one way or another, this statement is true in what we have all experienced in the entire academic journey here at AKU.  The journey has had its own ups and downs, tough bends to be negotiated and needless to say, a few tears were shed along the journey. A number of times we found ourselves running where we were supposed to fly, walking where we were supposed to run, crawling where we were supposed to walk. In all those modes of movements, we kept moving forward up to this glorious moment. We are grateful for the opportunity to travel this outstanding journey that has evidently enabled us to  grow in the arts and sciences of this modern world As we step out into the world let us keep on moving forward as and utilize every opportunity to share valuable skills and education that we have acquired from AKU. Let us shine our light as we stride the world. 

Ladies and Gentlemen: The success we all celebrate today is the result of the team effort of many team players in the process. On behalf of this graduating class, I am taking this moment to acknowledge both individually and in their groups, members of this winning team. 

We thank God for all His provisions (material and spiritual). We acknowledge that without God we would have not have been here. Each one of us personally or collectively, privately or publicly spent time in different moments of the process and in his or her own religious tradition to request God’s assistance to move forward. It is through His grace that we stand here tall.

We thank the University Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan, the Board of Trustees for their vision and direction to mould this precious academic institution which has contributed and continues to contribute to transform this world to a better place. You continue to instil the spirit of not only personal wellbeing but the wellbeing of many people across the globe. 

We thank the highly qualified faculty and the staff of Aga Khan University who have been very diligent and professional to academically challenge us to fully engage in our academic programs. Their technical and academic skills as well as their experience in their fields of expertise have made us to learn and experience notable academic skills in our areas of learning in very high and dignified levels. Thank you to our professors and staff of this great university. 

Special thanks to all individuals and various groups and organizations both national and international who have sponsored and continue to sponsor AKU in so many ways and fashions. Your continuous generous sponsorship positively contributes to the best quality of academic achievement at the Aga Khan University.

Special thank you to our family members for always being on our side throughout this rigorous academic journey. We also appreciate our parents, siblings, spouses and our very children who made positive sacrifice to support us in one way or another. We admit that countless times were physically with you but mentally and emotionally we were absent sailing the deep seas of the academic ocean to meet the demands of  academic assignments and projects. All-in-all, you are all integral part of this achievement. 

Last but not least, let us take this moment to thank each other as grandaunts for all the support we have given to one another along the way. It has been a blessing to journey together in a cohort like ours. Our love and respect for each other has bonded us into a vibrant family. Let’s continue to support each even after we partway from Aga Khan University today. We need each other to grow up and excel in our life.

Long live Aga Khan University! ​