Greetings. Amongst the numerous events that take place on this campus of Handong Global University, this very
Amongst the numerous events that take place on this campus of Handong Global University, this very event of commencement is the most momentous as it marks the day when you all, students who diligently studied and prepared here at Handong Global University with a dream of changing the world and a goal of studying to give unto others, enter into a broader world.
It is with great regret that this 22nd Commencement Ceremony could not have been held as intended due to the possibility of transmission of this new strain of coronavirus, which is currently presenting a major threat to human life due to its high infectivity in not just South Korea but around the world. Although we are well aware that there are no confirmed cases of infection amongst today’s graduating class, the commencement ceremony has been nevertheless canceled due to a still ever-present health risk, and I ask for everyone’s understanding for having to host a more simplified ceremony.
Despite not having been able to open a ceremony like that of previous years, we give all the glory and praise to our Lord Jesus Christ for his constant guidance and blessing since the establishment of this University.
To all our dear graduating Handong undergraduate and graduate students, I sincerely congratulate you all on your graduations.
Additionally, I would like to especially congratulate our international students, who have come to graduate after studying in an unfamiliar environment. I am pleased to say that a total of 10 students from 8 different countries (Germany, Laos, the US, Indonesia, China, Kazakhstan, and Canada) will be graduating. Please join me in applause to once again congratulate all our graduating students.
I also offer my deepest gratitude to the parents, families, and friends of our graduates, who have until now brought up our students with love and sincerity, offering daily prayers on their behalf with tears. And I would also like to acknowledge and wholeheartedly thank all of our University’s professors for their tireless efforts to establish proper character, intellect, and spirituality in our students. Let us show our appreciation to all our parents, families, and professors with a big round of applause for their unstinting love that has enabled you, our graduates, to admirably mature in this seedbed that is Handong.
My dear Handong graduates,
I would today like to charge you all with these next three things, that you continuously practice them after your graduation.
First, I hope that you will all continue to become exceptional individuals who always studies and conducts research with outstanding spirituality and character that is based on a firm foundation of faith and self-identity. Always remember the verse of Romans 12:2 which tells to “… not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Accordingly, you will have to cultivate an attitude where you study and research on a daily basis to discern what that good and acceptable and perfect will of God is. In the past, it was said that “there is timing in learning”; however, in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing society, the expression “lifelong learning” seems to be more appropriate. We as individuals living in such quickly evolving times must also strive to keep up with such change. Therefore, it is imperative that we not grow passive in our studies. Matters which must be kept and maintained should be done so while matters that require change ought to be resolved in an efficient and flexible manner. It is my prayer that you all will become Handong individuals who hold fast to Scripture and your own personal identity while simultaneously innovating areas of the world that require such change through diligent study and research.
Secondly, I wish for you to become ‘High Tech-High Touch’ individuals of talent that resolve issues in love and wisdom to serve your fellow neighbors and local regions. Today’s era requires talented individuals capable of creative problem-solving, individuals who are technologically literate (High Tech) while also being knowledgeable about humanity (High Touch). One must be able to discern the demands of humanity through humanistic reasoning skills while also being able to determine how to formulate solutions that can meet said demands through scientific reasoning. Let us scribe the verses of Acts 20:35, which reads “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” deep in our hearts and become a people of Handong who always takes the first step in approaching the struggling neighbors around us. In doing so, I hope that you will be able to not only understand the problems and issues of your neighbors but also perfect your own personal skills to help solve such problems, becoming warm-hearted members of a greater society, members who actively look to assuage the concerns of others. Through such work and actions, you will emerge as exemplary models of individuals who love God and their neighbors, and it is my desire that you become the most generous amongst the people around you. Each and every graduate today going forth to serve his or her neighbors with the Gospel and love are our missionaries and will become seeds that bring change to the world.
Thirdly, I wish that you will always remember our university’s motto “Why Not Change the World?” and strive to become admirable global talents. Handong Global University as the first UNITWIN host university constantly cooperates with 75 universities and 17 institutes located in 33 different countries and has in the past 10 years been able to provide higher education benefits to more than 27,000 international students, professors, officials, etc. In particular, Handong Global University will have the pleasure of hosting the first domestic “Korean World Mission Conference” in July later this year. To host this “Korean World Mission Conference” for the first time at Handong Global University in Pohang, a city on the eastern-most end of Korea, is a monumental milestone in Korean missionary history, especially considering that this conference has been for the past 40 years held at Wheaton College in the United States. Through this conference, we are anticipating that Handong Global University with our extensive network of missionaries working in all parts of the world will be able to mature to the next level as an increasingly internationalized university. I hope that as you graduate today and become our newest alumni that you will always remember in your hearts that you are also global citizens, helping not only your fellow neighbors through their needs and struggles but also going further to have continuous concern for the issues present in your local region and the greater world, that you as a member of Handong endlessly devote and challenge yourselves to find resolutions to such issues.
Finally, I would like to request that you as our meritorious Handong Global University alumni constantly pray for our university and have an ever-steadfast interest and love for our university. You all have worked so hard to come this far. I once again congratulate you on your graduation. Thank you, and God bless you.
February 21, 2020
President of Handong Global University