• The Yogi Leader

2019 Commencement Speech by Dr. Leila Naderi, Alliant International University

Good Afternoon everyone! Congratulations class of 2019! WE MADE IT…!

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.

It ‘s been a long road to get to this exciting day. And the path hasn’t been easy. But we are finally here because we made a commitment to continue, learn, and grow through each challenge of the path. And WE MADE IT…! Right?

Graduates, do you remember the day you began your program? Do you remember your hopes and your FEARS? I do… And I do remember that many times I wanted to quit. I am an immigrant and being away from my loved ones hasn’t been easy at all. However, coming to Alliant that values international/multicultural competencies, I found my second home again. Alliant community empowered me to persist and honor my hopes, my dreams, and made me believe that “ I CAN MAKE IT…”

As Rumi, the Persian Poet, said:You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop.”

So Let us affirm the ocean within us. Let us believe in our true potentials. Let us promise to each other that whatever we do, we will serve the greater good of humanity because “the world is waiting for us”.

I believe great leaders don’t necessarily begin with great answers. Great leaders begin with great questions. So I leave you with questions not ADVICE. It’s ok if you don’t have the perfect answers now but I hope you keep asking these questions until you find your OWN meaningful answers:

1. How can we serve the greater good of humanity even with the smallest and simplest actions?

2. How can we embrace and respect others perspectives?

3. How can we collaborate and find better answers for big issues?

4. And finally, how can we better ourselves to better the world?

Graduates, I can’t wait to see what future holds for each and every one of us. But I am pretty confident that future is more promising because our education has empowered us to be the change we wish to see in the world”.

Thank you, keep shining, and once again congratulations class of 2019! WE MADE IT…!

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