Mangaluru: It’s a Milestone for Graduates! 646 PG and UG receive Medals and Certificates at SAC IVth G.D. – 2015

“The best of all things is to learn. Money can be lost or stolen, health and strength may fail, but what you have committed to your mind is yours forever.” – Louis L’Amour

“I’ve been waiting more than 30 years to say this: ‘Dad, I always told you I’d come back and get my degree.’ I want to thank Harvard for this honor. I’ll be changing my job next year and it will be nice to finally have a college degree on my resume!” – Bill Gates of “Microsoft”

“A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that “individuality” is the key to success.” – Robert Orben

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once, but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own.” – US First Lady Michelle Obama

Mangaluru: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever “- This quote from Mahatma Gandhi’s has a universal appeal for those who are about to move forward to new experience. “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – this popular quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds graduates of their uniqueness, as well as their ability to create their own path in the world. “To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream, not only dream, but also believe.” – this quote by Anatole France combines the necessity of both faith and hard work as a road to success for all graduates.

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Graduation Day is often a time of celebration. Graduates of all ages are recognized for their academic accomplishments at the end of each academic era in their lives. It is day when graduates make their way on to the next chapter in their lives. It is also a day when they celebrate accomplishment, new beginnings, and success. The day also reminds new graduates how valuable their education and accomplishments are.

Graduation Day! It fills the heart with mixed feelings — fulfillment and sadness, anxiety and eagerness. Say goodbye to the comfortable and secure life within college walls. Get ready to march to the beat of the business world. The uncertainty of the future looms large over fresh graduates as they spread out their wings. Armed with diplomas and idealistic dreams, they charge ahead with enthusiasm. The fresh graduate needs oodles of advice and inspiration. Looking at all the big celebration to mark the “Graduation Day” of St Agnes College (Autonomous), I wanted to go back to college and earn my degree again so that I too can enjoy all that glamour and glittering ceremony-’cause when I graduated from St Aloysius College in the 80’s , there wasn’t any celebrations-we had to go to the college office and get our degree certificate and head home-that’s it. This was just a thought?

The Fourth Graduation Day of St. Agnes College (Autonomous), Mangaluru, was held on the 28th of September 2015 at 3:00 p.m. in the College Auditorium. The Convocation Address was delivered by Prof. Meena Rajiv Chandawarkar, Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, Karnataka State Women’s University, Vijaypur. Prior to the formal ceremony, the guests and other dignitaries were escorted to the auditorium, with the SAC institution band in attendance. The guests and dignitaries were escorted to the dais while the graduates took their designated places. The programme began with an invocation by a group of college students. Sr Dr M Jeswina AC, Vice Principal and the Convener of the Convocation ceremony welcomed the gathering and also gave a brief history of St Agnes College (Autonomous), also mentioning that SAC is NAAC-Re-Accredited-‘A’ Grade college with a potential for Excellence, which was followed by presenting of the graduates done by Charles Pais, the Registrar.

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Prof. Meena Chandawarkar, in her Graduation Address laid stress on women’s education and dealt with the topical status of women in Indian society where the current total literacy rate of women is 65.50% as compared with that of the male literacy rate which is at 82.10%, however, a welcome development she said, is that the number of women entering the portals of higher education has been steadily increasing, despite adverse social pressures. She congratulated all the graduates and said that they were provided a very congenial atmosphere by the college for them to bloom to their fullest potential. Her advice to the students was to do their best for the nation by utilizing their capacities to the maximum and encourage more and more women to pursue higher education.

Sr. Edna Furtado A.C., Secretary, The Apostolic Carmel Educational Society, Karnataka presided over the function. In her presidential address quoting the words of Steve Jobbs, the founder of Apple Inc,“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” Sr Edna AC said, “Now that you are graduates you will be looking forward to start your career in different fields or looking for a better job. whatever your ambition and goals are be happy with what opportunities come your way. Work hard with sincerity and dedication and success will be yours. Wish you all luck in your future career and endeavours. may God bless you all”.

The Ceremony was attended by the members of the Governing Body and Academic Council of the college under autonomy. Charles Pais, Controller of Examinations, presented 88 post graduate and 558 undergraduate degree holders to the Principal, Prof. Sr. M.Supriya A.C. who is also the Chairperson of the Academic Council and Member Secretary of the Governing Body to accept them for the award of Degree. Prof. Sr M. Supriya A.C. the Principal administered the oath to the fresh graduates.

Sr. Dr. M. Venessa A. C., Dean, Humanities; Dr. Maria G Lobo, Dean, Science; Mrs. Sabeena Joan D’souza, Dean, Commerce and Management presented the list of Graduates and Mrs. Marina Pinto, Dean Administration presented the list of Post Graduates. Twenty-three undergraduate and four post-graduate rank holders were awarded with Rank Certificates and Cash prizes. Dr. B.C. Manjula of the Dept. of Economics proposed the vote of thanks. Mrs. Sandhya Nayak, Dept. of English compered the programme. The programme concluded with the National Anthem.

I end this report with thought-provoking words from the “Graduation Oath” taken by the all graduates assembled at the “Convocation Ceremony”:

“I promise to live up to the
Ideals and values of my Alma-mater
To the best of my abilities to serve God
and be firm in my faith and trust in Him.

I hereby solemnly pledge that,
I shall in my daily life and conversation
Conduct myself as befits a graduate, by
Upholding and adhering to the laws and standards
Governing my profession and maintain my honour
and credit in all my transactions, and
I shall not indulge in any act of malpractice
and work with integrity.

I shall endeavour to work and establish
Unity and peace in my country.

I shall strive to perfect and advance my knowledge
and will contribute this knowledge
to the advancement of my profession
and render my services to society,
especially the less fortunate.

I shall make my life a pure and a sincere one
and tread the path of honesty and humility
and seek the highest good in all things ever mindful that
GOD IS MY STRENGTH”

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Following is the full-version of the 4th Graduation Day Address delivered by the Chief Guest, Dr Meena Rajiv Chandawarkar:

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The President of this Graduation Day, Sr Edna Furtado AC, Registrar, Principal, members of the management, distinguished invitees, representatives of the press, recipients of gold medals and degrees, dedicated staff and proud parents-I am immensely happy and privileged to deliver the 4th Graduation Address in this reputed autonomous college, exclusively for women, in this part of Karnataka. I heartily congratulate all those who will be awarded various degrees and gold medals. It is said; if a man is educated, only he is educated but if a woman is educated, the entire generation is educated. In this context, this college needs special mention as it is catering to the needs of women, thereby moulding the future generation.

Education helps men and women to be aware of the inexhaustible reservoir of potential hidden in them and to utilize the same in the progress of the nation. It expands their capacities, upgrades their skills and broadens their horizons of knowledge. Apart from helping the people to come out of the clutches of poverty, so far as in a women’s life, education plays an important role as it leads her in the process of development to become an adult. Education for women is necessary as it is a right, it has cultural impact on one’s life, it leads to better health and awareness and it ignites self confidence. Educating women brings them closer to gender equality.

Access for women to education, health and productive resources, particularly belonging to weaker sections including Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and other backward classes and minorities, from rural areas is inadequate. Because of this they remain largely marginalized, poor and socially excluded. Therefore, educating women particularly belonging to rural areas would create an environment having positive economic and social outlook for full development of women to enable them to realize their potential.

It is rightly said “A rainbow appears not because it wishes to appear but because circumstances are favorable for it to appear.” Education creates such favorable circumstances for the human personality to blossom out fully. The number of women entering the portals of higher education has been steadily increasing, which is a welcome development. Despite adverse social pressures, women in India have shone throughout history. They have managed the home and the hearth, and whenever required have not hesitated from taking up even the sword, as in the cases of Lakshmibai, Rani of Jhansi, or Chennamma, Rani of Kittur. Women have seized opportunities and proved their capacity in every area, be it politics and administration, science and technology, literature and the arts, law, business and industry, the social arena, you name it. When a woman leads the balance sheet shows! The percentage of women in every area is increasing, though not fast enough.

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Sir C V Raman said “The true wealth of a Nation consists not in the stored – up gold in its coffers and the banks, not in the factories, but in the intellectual and physical strength of its men, women and children.”(Sir C V Raman – Convocation address, Madras University 1942). A nation is known by the culture, character and creative potential of its precious human resource and women have a special role to play in shaping the future of their families. Women constitute 50% of the human resource, almost half of humanity. But, when we look at their careers and contribution to the nation’s progress, the numbers are very low. Consider the following statistics:

Total literacy rate                                                           : 74.04%
Female literacy rate                                                       : 65.50%
Male literacy rate                                                            : 82.10%
Every third women                                                         : Under nourished
Girls getting married before the legal age                  : 2% to 46%
Participation in the decision making (Household)  : 36.70%.

(From the latest report of WHO (Country Cooperation Strategy) India – 2012-2017)

It is globally acknowledged that sound scientific, technological, medical, agricultural, environmental, and biology related knowledge is critical for addressing the issues facing the humanity. Economic transformation, sustainable use of natural resources, poverty eradication, zero hunger, disease control etc., can be achieved only through innovations and strengthening of capacity building at all levels – in urban areas and at the grass root levels. Technological empowerment of women is absolutely essential. Inclusiveness and greater participation of women in the developmental activities and societal reforms have to be an integral part of socio-economic progress. Women are the nucleus of the family. They not only do all the household work, e.g. getting water, fuel, wood, fodder, food etc., but play a significant role in preserving culture, grooming the children and shaping the future of the family.

We have been observing the International Women’s Day, since 1900, on 8th of March every year in the world, by organizing several events and recognizing their contribution. The year 1975 was designated as International Women’s Year. These efforts were initiated to ensure women’s participation and involvement in all important activities. Many events and activities world over have drawn the attention of UN bodies, Governments, NGOs, Academies and many others.

– First conference of UN in Mexico in 1975 discussed various issues related to women.

– Beijing Declaration adopted at the 4th World Conference on Women (Sept. 4-15, 1995) aimed to achieve the goals of :- Equality, Development, and Peace of women globally

– SAARC Decade of the Girl Child—-1991-2000

– National Commission for Women set up in January, 1992 followed by State Commissions.

– International Day of the Girl Child—October 11 (commenced in 2012)

The above mentioned events show the growing awareness to discuss issues relating to women and to ensure justice, betterment of the women particularly with women of rural pockets. The need of the hour is to systematize the whole setup for better quality association as well as a round up work to be provided for this task. While the woman is trying her best to prove that she is next to none, it is essential for her to grab all opportunities to the best of her advantage and thereby the nation’s progress, realizing well that success rarely comes easily. The solution is to arm her with education and to be persistent to reach her goal.

– Plan purposefully,
– Prepare prayerfully,
– Proceed positively,
– Pursue persistently.

Planning involves a lot of learning, imagination and creativity. It is the creative potential of the human resource that makes it a unique one. Understand your priorities and chalk out your own path. This entails clarity of goals to be achieved together with abundance of patience. Learn to dream and pursue the same. As our scientist, par excellence, Late Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam puts it, “A dream is not the one you see while sleeping, it is the one which does not allow you to sleep at all!!” Such a dreaming process triggers creativity and enables one to convert ‘ordinary to extraordinary’

Prayer is the antivirus which protects the windows of our life from the fatal viruses of gloom, depression and hopelessness. Hence, absolute faith in the Almighty, in His Divine Grace is a critical necessity for success. Positivity is associated with attitude which determines the altitude one reaches in life. Failures will be there, but they are the stepping stones to success. A strong will and determination through the right approach, injects tremendous positivity in life. This is a secret of success. Perseverance and patience in the pursuit of goals, are crucial to tide through difficult times in life. Success lies not in never falling but getting up every time you fall and this belief is strengthened through perseverance. Risks will always be there. Even if they are well planned, there is a good chance of failure too. It is these failures which will make one tough.

To conclude I would say that this college has played a pivotal role in providing you a platform for your all round development. It has provided a very congenial atmosphere for you to blossom out to your fullest potential. Now it is your turn to express your gratitude by utilizing your capacities for the progress of the nation. Do your best to encourage more and more women to pursue higher education. The dawn of the 21st century is marked by a clear message—sustainable transformation of the society through knowledge as a driving force. Higher education is the major vehicle for accelerated economic growth and modern society. Once again I heartily congratulate all those who are getting degrees, especially those who are being conferred gold medals. May God bless you all.

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