[Closing Address: ADDU College Graduation, March 29, 2014.]
First of all, a word to our parents and benefactors. Thank you for entrusting your children and your scholars to us. We appreciate your trust and confidence, and are grateful for the sacrifices you have accepted to bring your children and scholars to are school and to maintain them here. Through your support we are enabled to continue our work in education the youth of Davao and Mindanao and to function as a premier Jesuit, Catholic and Filipino University for the Philippines. We hope that on this day of joy you are as happy as we are
Second, once again, a word of gratitude to the graduates. Thank you for the hard work, the learning, the immersion, the service, the successfully-passed trials, tribulations, projects and examinations. Primarily, the success of this day is your attainment, the joy of this day is your achievement. The ADDU is proud to have been part of your success. Be blessed and successful in your lives; be part of ADDU’s success.
Third, I urge you: make leadership part of your success. Do not lock away your knowledge, competence, sensitivity and spirit for yourselves alone. You are meant for others, and called to serve God’s people. Lead in the light of ADDU Leadership sui generis: serve truth, serve God, serve humanity, serve God’s creation. When the time is right, and when God so calls, step up to the plate of leadership. Lead according to what is morally demanded; seek always the common good, no matter how difficult, how demanding, how exhausting this may be. In so doing, militate against poverty, create wealth, distribute it equitably, forge peace, build on the gains achieved so far in the peace process, bring last Thursday’s signing of the Comprehensive Agreement Bangsamoro to the just and lasting peace our peoples so long for, protect and conserve God’s creation for all. Lead proactively in humble discipleship of the Lord. Find your joy in your God’s consolation and in your people’s gratitude.
Fourth, in your life of service to the common good, consider your alma mater a reliable partner. Come home to her often, not only to refresh memories and renew friendships, but with her representatives of various disciplines, with her teachers, researchers, and sages, come home to participate in the ongoing search for what the common good demands. This shall be an enduring pre-occupation of your alma mater: to articulate for various historical situations what the imperatives of the common good are. We ask you to be a lifelong part of this unending articulation, so that in this manner you allow the university to continue to impact on your leadership, just as you enrich the university with the fruits of your leadership.
Finally, I ask you to support your university for the long term. One day, your success may allow you to be a donor of land, buildings, libraries and laboratories to ADDU; may that day come sooner than later. Meanwhile, I ask you, all of you, to be A-1 donors. This means: to share of your education with others, and to support your alma mater, I ask you to donate one peso a day for the rest of your lives to help especially the less privileged to access Ateneo education.
Thank you. Again, congratulations to all.