Starting off with a traditional ensemble-accompanied processional march, Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) conducted the Special Commencement Ceremonies on November 27, 2022 at the university gymnasium for graduates of the Classes of 2020 and 2021 who failed to experience the face-to-face graduation.

Forefronting the staple university theme, “Influencing the Future,” the institute chancellor, Prof. Alizedney M. Ditucalan, J.D., LL.M., kickstarted the event proper with his inspiring and nostalgic welcoming message, as together with the graduates, he reminisced fun and memorable scenarios inside MSU-IIT.

“These have, without a doubt, formed your experience, and these will internally form how you will remember your younger self and measure how far your future self will have come. Looking back is an essential part of moving forward,” the chancellor in his opening remarks.

The guest keynote speaker of the event, comprehensively introduced by the university chancellor, Hon. Pia S. Cayetano, Senator of the Republic of the Philippines, gave her insightful and motivational commencement speech and extended her warm greetings of congratulations to the graduates via a pre-recorded video message.

“Inaasahan ko na [may] makikita [akong] graduates sa batch na ito na nag-survive during the worst of COVID that will excel nationally and globally. It is important for you to explore all the opportunities that are made available. Na-delay man kayo—kung merong mga na-delay—don’t give up because these opportunities will still be there. I encourage you to adopt the mindset of a future thinker,” Sen. Cayetano’s uplifting words during her commencement message.

Following the speech was the presentation of the awardees for excellence in academic performance, that was delivered by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Mr. Ephrime B. Metillo, Ph.D. This was then succeeded by the presentation of the candidates for graduation by Chancellor Ditucalan and the conferment of titles and degrees by Atty. Basari D. Mapupuno, the MSU President.

A representative from the overall graduating batch of the commencement exercises, Engr. Imee Cacho, conveyed a moving speech about the hurdles she had faced and the struggles she had endured throughout her college journey, and how she still managed to get a hold of success despite all of that.

According to Engr. Cacho, “It is that very breakdown that led me to the greatest breakthrough. With so many influences of the world that led me to failures and wrong choices, [I chose] the best [influences], and IIT is one of them. IIT influenced my future. It molded me and greatly contributed to who is the Imee standing here today. The challenge we have now is that, while [IIT has rightly influenced us], may we also influence others.”

The graduates also performed an emotional number of their graduation song, “Ready To Go Beyond,” and tendered a heartfelt tribute to the people behind the fulfillment of their success.

Report by Harris Louis Alvarico
Photos by Richard Domagtoy and Marian Grizelle Cabural