As the joy of this celebration comes to an end, allow me just once more to recall to you briefly what your alma mater expects of you as graduates of the ADDU.
Whether already in your professional life enhanced by higher education or as you face the hurdles of professional examinations, ADDU expects you to excel as ADDU sui generis leaders in life. It expects that the mission and vision of the Ateneo de Davao impact on the quality of your leadership in the world today.
It expects therefore that your leadership be rooted in the faith, promote justice, especially social justice, transform culture accordingly, engage in dialogue with diverse religions, and preserve and conserve the environment God created for the benefit of all.
It expects that this leadership be freely appropriated in your lives and evidenced in the clarity of your outlook, the audacity of your dreams, the reality of your plans, and the real choices you make.
ADDU expects that you express your faith through commitment to justice, and that the nexus between faith and your commitment to the common good be compelling in your leadership.
ADDU expects that you engage in dialogue with peoples of different faiths and cultures in Mindanao; in this dialogue, which engages Christians, the Bangsamoro, the CPP-NPA-NDFP, it expects that you work for peace.
ADDU expects that you promote environmental responsibility and stewardship, and that you lead in the care of our common home.
It expects that in our society still shamefully plagued by widespread poverty, you create wealth and see to its equitable distribution.
It expects that you work for and with vulnerable communities for their development.
It expects that insofar as you are a Catholic and Christian you serve the Roman Catholic Church as a matter of vocation, or that you serve the faith of your vocation. Having received the benefits of good education, ADDU expects that you participate in promoting educational reform in the Philippines – or in Myanmar.
Go forth to make your mark in society, dear graduates. But I invite you to never cease to come home to your alma mater, its mission and vision, its ideals and values. Come home to join its ongoing conversations –pakighinabi – on the requirements of the common good. Come home to continue to grow in knowledge and insight, to visit your teachers and administrators, to encounter anew your batchmates and friends, but especially, to enter the chapel of the Assumption to converse with your unlikely King looking into your heart from a Cross. There, with St. Ignatius, you may consider: “If this is what you have done for me in love, Lord, what have I done for you? What am I doing for you? What ought I do for you?” How you answer those questions may be the source of liberation, love, and joy in your lives.
Congratulations, ADDU higher education Graduates 2017!