The graduation ceremony for the degrees in Business Administration and Management, Computer Engineering, Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Food Science and Technology, Industrial Organisation Engineering and Agricultural and Food Industries Engineering opened on Friday morning the events with which nearly half a thousand students and one thousand five hundred relatives celebrated the end of their studies at the European University of the Atlantic.
The first ceremony began with a few words from the Vice-Rector for Academic Organisation and Teaching Staff, Dr Silvia Aparicio, who thanked the institution for the trust placed in it and underlined the double dichotomy that is now opening up for the new professionals. “On the one hand, security versus uncertainty. At one extreme, there is maximum security, where life is comfortable and could even be boring, and at the other, uncertainty, which is what makes us feel alive, and this never ends. I recommend you to keep a bit of uncertainty. On the other, importance versus connection. We will have to fight with our ego, our resources and knowledge, to combine them with our connection to others: our capacities, knowing how to share, accompany, negotiate, etc.” Edith Morales, a graduate in Industrial Organisation Engineering, of Guatemalan nationality, recalled on behalf of the students themselves some anecdotes that had happened throughout the four years of the course and said that “today the world is ours, let’s go for it!.”
For his part, the sponsor of the graduating class, Ezequiel San Emeterio Huidobro, president of the College of Civil Engineers of Cantabria, addressed the audience to convey that “the aim of these new professionals is now to contribute value to society. All professions end up interrelated in one way or another, your degrees are necessary for our society to advance. Society improves when professionals work in unison”. San Emeterio commented that “you know much more than you think; in the world of work you will often be told what you have to do, but other times you will have to find your own way and it will be then that you will realise that you have the knowledge you thought you didn’t have”.
Primary Education, Applied Languages and Translation and Interpreting
The second ceremony was for the degrees in Primary Education, Applied Languages and Translation and Interpreting, as well as the Master’s Degree in Teacher Training. This ceremony was opened by Dr Araceli Alonso, who stressed that “all these diplomas are privileges”; “treasure them with affection”, she encouraged them. Dr. Alonso pointed out the vocation “to train and not just inform, which hides the sense of moulding”, of those who have studied Primary Education; the importance of words for those of Applied Languages “to delve into those laws – recalling the teachings of the academic Ignacio Bosque – which explain why each word goes where it goes, means what it means and combined with others help us to say what we want to say”. Finally, he highlighted the work of translators “to build bridges between two shores”. The student Marta Díez, who represented her classmates, commented on those “first steps we took at this university and now we realise how fast they were”. The sponsor, Emeritus Professor Francisco Adolfo Marcos Marín, emphasised that those graduating “will stop putting what others have written or thought first and will have to move forward with their own work and their own knowledge”.
The graduation ceremony for the communication students took place on Saturday morning and was opened by the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Dr. Federico Fernández, who expressed his satisfaction that “the University has managed to become a place of intercultural understanding”. He also explained that “we have tried to ensure that you acquire knowledge, skills and techniques, but we also wanted to create the attitudes and habits necessary to face the world with your own weapons”. Laura Gandarillas, a graduate student of Advertising and Public Relations, speaking on behalf of her classmates, said that “the years have gone by and we have been growing year by year together and we have been able to realise that the University is not only what is taught within these four walls, but the people who are part of our day to day”. The godmother of the graduating class, Olga Agüero, dean of the College of Journalists of Cantabria, encouraged us to “remember this day well because you cannot imagine with what emotion and nostalgia you will recall it in the years to come”.
The ceremony for graduates in Psychology and those who have completed the Master’s Degree in General Health Psychology began with a few words from the academic director, Dr Juan Luis Martín, who reminded those present that “some years have passed since we received you in our classrooms. Perhaps you have the feeling that it is necessary to continue learning. We have taught you different scientific approaches, theories and methodologies, and we hope we have done so from a perspective of dialogue and respect. Thank you for trusting us; training people is a great responsibility and also a great pride”. The Master’s student, Marcelo Gremián, represented his classmates and confessed that “this house, this University that I love so much, has united us, for four years” and thanked the work of the professors “to whom we have given a Master’s degree in patience”. The godmother of the graduating class, Ángela Carrera, offered some advice to the new graduates. “First, live; don’t be perfect, recognise your mistakes. Second, take care of yourselves; we are trained to offer help, but not to receive it. And third, celebrate; celebrate together rituals of human covenant and communication; don’t forget any dates of celebration”.
The fifth and final ceremony brought together the graduates in Physical Activity and Sport Sciences and was opened by Dr. Carlos Lago who said that “some of you may wonder if you are ready to work; well, make no mistake, you are more than ready with all the training you have received in the more than forty subjects you have studied”. Brandon Hoyos spoke on behalf of the students and said that “now that our parents are looking at us with our graduation certificates in their hands, they will see one of the greatest dreams of their lives come true: to give their children a quality education. I can’t imagine the pride they must feel at this moment”. The godfather of the graduating class, Mario Iglesias, congratulated the graduates on behalf of the Government of Cantabria and suggested “not to be afraid of making decisions, it has happened to all of us. You have a life ahead of you, enjoy it, make the most of it and contribute to a better society”.
All the events were closed with a speech by the rector, Rubén Calderón, who said that “when you are questioned about what good it has done you to go to university, the facts show that studying is better than not studying at all. The chances of getting a job are better and the chances of earning a higher income are better too. Be cautious, but sooner or later your time will come; don’t wait at home, you have to go out and look for it”. He also recalled “the day when the doors of the University opened in front of you, don’t lose that illusion because you are going to need it at many moments”. Finally, he invited them to “celebrate the day and share it with your families”.
A total of exactly four hundred and sixty-five students took part in five ceremonies, although this does not represent the full number of students who completed their bachelor’s and master’s degree studies in the 2021-2022 academic year, as some of them, having completed their final exams and obtained the necessary credits, have already returned to their countries of origin. In any case, among those graduating there were forty-seven international students, with Guatemala being the most represented country, with a total of twelve, while there were eleven Salvadorians, five Mexicans, three Hondurans, two Argentinians, two Costa Ricans, Dominicans, etc. Other students from Germany, Belgium, Italy, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, and Peru will also receive their diplomas, the rest were from Cantabria or from other Spanish communities.