11th Hellenic American University Commencement28 June 2019, 7:20 am
Friends, family and distinguished guests joined faculty, staff, executive officers and Trustees of Hellenic American University to celebrate the graduating Class of 2019 at the University’s 11th Commencement. The ceremony was held on June 20, 2019 in the Dimitris Mitropoulos Hall at Megaron, the Athens Concert Hall.
Roughly 500 persons attended the ceremony, which began with a music program that featured a performance of Theodore Antoniou’s String Quartet No. 4, in honor of the late composer and Director of the Hellenic American University Bachelor of Music program.
The graduate valedictory address was given by Evangelia Morali, MAAL ’19, who spoke about the power of ideas to drive change and innovation and encouraged her fellow graduates to honor the gifts but also the hardships that life brings. Charalampos Risvas, BM ’19, delivered the undergraduate valedictory. In his address, he shared his concerns about a world in which people continue to suffer, noting that the arts are needed today more than ever. It is the arts, he said, that “know how to listen equally well, equally true”.
It is the University’s custom at Commencement to confer honorary degrees to individuals who have distinguished themselves through achievements in the arts or sciences, education, public service or philanthropy. This year the University awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters to Dr. Arthur C. Vailas, a distinguished biomedical researcher and university president, for what it called his inspiring record of contribution in teaching, research and educational leadership.
In his remarks to the graduating class, Dr. Vailas spoke about the value of the degree they were about to receive. It was not only an acknowledgement of their achievements, the knowledge and competencies they have acquired. The degree they earned, he said, was a foundation for the leadership and civic engagement “the versatile citizen” can exercise.
In his own address to the members of the graduating class of 2019, University President Leonidas Phoebus Koskos characterized their Commencement Day as a “milestone that marks the end of a heroic path,” but also the start of a new one, in which they will be called on repeatedly to demonstrate their heroism in their daily lives.
Image: Dr. Arthur C. Vailas, Honorary Degree Recipient.