The graduates of the 68th Commencement Exercises are trailblazers who bravely took risks in the many firsts of their academic journeys. At the helm of the AdZU Class of 2022 stands Joey Yves Flores, this year’s Summa Cum Laude and Class Valedictorian, from AdZU’s BS Biomedical program, the first Baccalaureate program in the country.
“Like lab rats, we were put to what seemed to be a series of trials and experiments. And yet we just came out stronger, every time,” Flores states in his Valedictory Address.
Truly, their journey is one filled with firsts. As the pioneering batch of Senior High School graduates, they went through the rigors and uncertainties of the K12 Curriculum. They stepped up to these challenges and completed an additional two years of preparatory program before college.
In addition to that, their college years were filled with new beginnings as they navigated new platforms of teaching and learning brought about by the COVID19 pandemic. With the AdZU RIGHT program, they found their footing in an uncertain environment and thrived amidst the chaos.
These experiences all culminated in the first face-to-face Commencement Exercises since the start of a series of lockdowns.
“…now, we are no longer lab rats but blue eagles—a metamorphosis of character as a result of Ateneo education—and we are ready to fly and share the strength we have mustered over the years to be men and women of God in the service of God and country.
To this Class of 2022, the class of firsts, major in Zoom and minor in TikTok, congratulations and dasurv natin ‘to!”
Yves Joey P Flores, BS Bio-Medical Engineering – Class 2022 Valedictorian, the first Summa Cum Laude since 2014.
Now, the Class of 2022 sets off on another first as they kick start their lives beyond the Eagle’s nest.
As the university bids them Godspeed, Father President Karel San Juan, SJ, reminds them, “What we taught you here, in the Ateneo, please do not forget. Ateneo’s vision, values and principles, competencies, Ateneo’s leadership, and faith – all these will be your anchor in a difficult world. All these will be your joy amidst your striving and your struggle. As we celebrate this School Year 2022, our 110th anniversary of the founding of AdZU – one hundred ten long years – of tradition and giftedness, we give you this gift of the Ateneo education and tradition.”
“As a fellow Atenean, I hope you remember and acknowledge how being in and graduating from the Ateneo comes with the inevitable brush with privilege – Atenista. With bragging rights. In many ways, it is both a blessing and, at the same time, a burden we must bear.Minority Floor Leader and Commencement Speaker Atty Laisa Alamia
In the process of dealing with our interwoven history, what we once deemed to be deeply personal eventually builds itself to be deeply political. And our political reckoning is always burdened by the weight of our personal relationships.
But in times of difficulty, it is our faith – our faith in God, our faith in Allah, our faith in any of the supreme beings we believe in, and our faith in each other that gives us the strength and resolve necessary to take the first step forward.”
This Class of Firsts, playfully dubbed by their Valedictorian as majoring in Zoom and minoring in TikTok, has proven time and again that they will rise to face challenges like true Blue Eagles in service for and with others.
They will face the world beyond the walls of Ateneo guided by their Ignatian values and with the prayers of the University community.
Ite, inflammate omnia– go, Class of 2022, set the world on fire!
For more photos of the event, visit the Official Facebook page of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University