On Saturday, July 28, 2018, UCBC officially closed the 2017-2018 academic year. The graduation of academic degrees, the dedication of four new rooms, the exhortation, the speeches, the procession under the rhythm of the drums and fanfares have colored this day.
Speech from the UCBC Rector David MUSIANDE Kasali
I congratulate you, the 2017-18 UCBC graduating class, for four years of hard work and remarkable achievement. During your time at UCBC, you have heard me say, “Only the best is good for the Lord.” Together, we have sought to be and do our best. Today, your graduation is the culmination of God’s grace coupled with our collective commitment to provide the best education possible in the difficult context of our country. As you embark in life away from your beloved UCBC community, I urge you: be your best wherever you go and whatever you do even when times are difficult.
But what does it mean to be your best?
- Find your Destiny
You cannot afford to miss the real purpose of your life on earth. You were fearfully and uniquely created by God to make a difference in the world whatever small that might be. Your destiny is God’s purpose in and for your life. You must constantly ask yourself the most basic question, “Why am I here on earth? What is the purpose of my life?”
In his trial, Nelson Mandela explained his destiny in clear and simple words:
"During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
Jesus Christ understood the purpose of his life on earth and expressed it unequivocally in these terms:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4:18, 19)
Dear graduates, don’t just look for jobs; discover yourself; find your life purpose; uncover your life calling; learn to use your talents, abilities and passions; fulfill your destiny. You will have peace of mind, joy and desire to succeed when you discover God’s calling in your life. You are at your best when you make other people’s lives a little bit better.
- Be dedicated to your Destiny
Dedication is the commitment, enthusiasm and perseverance to achieve whatever is set before you. It is a personal decision “to spend all your time on and put all your efforts into one particular thing” (Longman Advanced American Dictionary). Dedication is the common mark of great men and women in the Bible and in history whose lives have been used to change ours.
Mandela stated, “I have dedicated myself for this struggle of the African people.” Eventually, he spent 27 years in prison, served as the first black president of South Africa and changed South Africa into a rainbow and prosperous nation. The Apostle Paul urges Christians to have the attitude of Christ, who “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness… Therefore God exalted him to the highest place…” (Phil. 2).
I am not asking you to be perfect, but simply to be dedicated to your destiny. We habitually say that we will be committed but when things become difficult, we often and easily give up and quit. Again, I am not asking you to be perfect, but to be the best employee your organization expects you to be, the best son, daughter, husband, wife, brother, sister your family, community and church expects you to be. In Paul’s words,
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23).
- Put God First
You must put God first because he is the source of your life destiny:
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you’” (Jeremiah 29: 11,12).
According to Jesus, God is not only the source of your destiny but also the power behind your success.
“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
“If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7)
The quality, usefulness and success of your life will depend on your commitment and determination to be your best and do your best. Through our collective prayers and efforts, our nation will be transformed into a nation of justice and prosperity.
Speech from the CI-USA Representative, Bill SHEWAN
I am here to bring a warm greeting from the Congo Initiative USA family. Like you, they believe deeply in the vision and work of UCBC.
You graduates, now with the other 500 alumnis you have integrated a silent revolution that has already begun to bring transformation in this beautiful country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and also everywhere on the African continent.
We prayed for you, and you are the answer to our prayers.
Today in addition to being called Laureates, you receive a second title, you are ambassadors. Now you are ambassadors of UCBC. Wherever you go, you will represent the mission and vision of the UCBC, but much more importantly, Jesus Christ our Lord will be represented by you. And that's a sacred responsibility.
Here at UCBC, you have discovered the joy of learning a lot of new things.
Speech from the UCBC-Alumni Association President, Victor EZAMA
« A VAINCRE SANS PERIL, ON TRIOMPHE SANS GLOIRE »
(Pierre Corneille, Poète Français du 17e siècle)
Congratulations! To my fellow graduates. It’s an honor to share this very special moment with you!
On behalf of the UCBC’s International Alumni Association, welcome to a very proud, loyal and global alumni family. Remember, your Alma Mater is a university whose borders are “the globe”. More than 500 UCBC graduates live and work throughout the world – nearly 3 continents of the world. Your network is further strengthened by an extended family of nearly 600 Alumni of all UCBC campuses.
As an alumnus, member of the UCBC Alumni Board, and sustaining member of the Alumni Association, I want to share with you a rite of passage which comes with academic achievement: much of the public will read, hear, think and believe about our Alma Mater will largely be based upon the actions and good deeds of graduates like you.
A French poet of the 17th century, Pierre Corneille agreed that “A VAINCRE SANS PERIL, ON TRIOMPHE SANS GLOIRE”
To help you start off on the right foot, as a UCBC graduate, I am going to ask you complete the following tasks – within the next 3 months:
First, display your degree and competency with pride: display it in your home, your office or other highly visible area. Be proud and let your friends, your family and co-workers know of your University.
Second, recruit a new student to UCBC and help continue a trend of record setting enrollment. The University will continue to enjoy a reputation for academic excellence with a student body which is intelligent; known as a “hard working” is motivated, and which comes from diverse backgrounds. You know what is takes to succeed here, so recruit a new student to UCBC.
And third, make a gift in support of the University … this is one instance where writing a check or contributing online comes in.
A short time from now, you’ll be asked to make a financial contribution in support of the University. Please do so and support the cause of your choice … there are many. Whether it’s a $10 or $10,000 ...Or somewhere in between. Do so, in honor of a faculty member who inspired you … or you parents, your family or others who have supported you; or perhaps just simply out of your loyalty.
No matter what reason, your financial contribution will help support the university and grow alumni giving participation rates – a very important factor in university national rankings.
Class of 2018, congratulations again on your graduation, and in making your dreams become reality. And welcome to the Alumni family.
Speech from the UCBC Student Council President, Bienfait NGISE
This morning we are here too to witness the bravery of those who have been our close friends, our midfield mediators in football, our songwriters, our animators in all circumstances, our leaders in this community ... those who through their knowing how to be and how to do have given this community a radiance of academic excellence.
We say to all thank you ... thank you for the influence you gave to the UCBC, thank you for these songs that have helped us to keep our unity in all circumstances and to ensure that our smile becomes immortal.
This morning we are giving you the same love and smile that you have given us during this short time with you and at the same time take from you the same legacy you had received too. This legacy of Unity, non-violence, love of work and neighbor, scientific pragmatism, in short, this heritage of a responsible citizen, useful to himself and useful to society.
Now that the process of transformation is reassuring for you, we are confident and we are certain that you with those who have already preceded you will make more alive the lines of our national anthem such as "United by the effort and the essort"," To build a Congo more beautiful than before "," To assure the greatness of our Nation "This is our oath of freedom that we will bequeath to each and every posterity of our nation; UCBC has always let us know by our hymn to believe that the community is our strength.