Never let your fears hold you back from achieving greatness. Plow your way through with the spirit of “First in Change.”
President Yong Hoon Lee delivered some valuable life lessons in his commencement speech at the 2023 UNIST Commencement ceremony, which took place on Thursday, February 16, 2023.
In his congratulatory remark, President Lee urged the Class of 2023 to boldly face challenges with the spirit of ‘First In Change,’ as they have done throughout their time at UNIST by saying, “Be willing to take on new challenges, but never be afraid of failure.” He added, “Plow your way through with the spirit of First in Change.”
President Lee also emphasized that life and education are about more than building credentials and a successful career. Thus, he encouraged the graduating students to give back to the communities that nurtured them and the ones they will be planted in, by saying “I hope you all grow into wonderful human beings, inside and out, and communicate with people around you with kindness and warmth.”
“UNIST, which was built around the Gamak pond, the area that used to be a wild plain, has now been transformed into the global hub for science and technology,” said President Lee. “Today, UNIST has grown into a research-oriented university that proudly positioned itself among world’s top 10 young universities.”
He added, “Wherever you go, you can be sure that your alma mater will be with you every step of the way, guiding you towards your goals and supporting your ambitions. We sincerely hope that you remain connected and engaged with UNIST in the years to come.”
Below is the complete commencement address by President Yong Hoon Lee:
Dear Members of the Graduating Class,
Today, 1,028 brilliant graduates will joint in the family of over 7,300 UNIST alumni. Congratulations on your well-deserved success and becoming high-caliber talents in science and technology.
All of your hard work and perseverance have led you to this proud moment in your lives. We applaud your persistence, your talent, your achievements, and your aspirations. You have made us all proud.
In honor of your graduation, I sincerely congratulate and thank the faculty and staff members of UNIST for their dedication and sincere efforts through all the year culminating into this day. Please also allow me to express my sincere appreciation to the parents and extended families of our graduates for their support and sacrifices.
I particularly convey our special thanks to Mayor Doo-Gyum Kim of Ulsan Metropolitan City, Vice Minister Joo Young-Chang for Science, Technology and Innovation, and other distinguished guests. We appreciate your taking time out of your busy schedule to be here with us.
Our Proud Graduates,
UNIST was established in 2009 with a great vision of becoming a “World-leading university to advance science and technology for the prosperity of humankind.” It was a dream of becoming a research-oriented university that contributes to leading changes for national prosperity and for the future of humanity, as well as Ulsan.
UNIST, which was built around the Gamak pond, the area that used to be a wild plain, has now been transformed into the global hub for science and technology. Today, UNIST has grown into a research-oriented university that proudly positioned itself among world’s top 10 young universities.
Last year, UNIST earned the distinction of having the highest number of the world’s top 1% ‘Highly Cited Researchers (HCR)’ among universities nationwide. One of our faculty startup has also been bestowed the honor of receiving the ‘$5M Export Tower.’ In addition to this, our research teams have notched remarkable results at international competitions, such as the ANA Avatar XPRIZE competition, organized by the XPRIZE Foundation.
These accomplishments have been made possible thanks to your hard work and perseverance.
Our Beloved Graduates,
I am proud that you have grown on this campus to become talented individuals in science and technology who can share innovative values and lead real changes in the world. In a few minutes, all of you will walk out of this stadium as newly minted graduates of UNIST. Before you do, however, I would like to suggest that you keep one step ahead and plan your future five to ten years ahead of now whether in your respective fields of study or through the convergence of different studies. Never let your fears hold you back from achieving greatness. Plow your way through with the spirit of “First in Change.”
You are a man of great intellect who have great support from our society. Now, Graduates, I want to challenge you to give back to the communities that nurtured you and the ones you will be planted in. Be willing to share your talents and resources, while developing a clear vision of what you want your future to be. I hope you all grow into wonderful human beings, inside and out, and communicate with people around you with kindness and warmth.
Although putting your priority in building your success in science and technology field is valued; I would like to ask you to take a step further and see that the world is more than a success in career one aspires to achieve. A small gesture of kindness to a person next to you and society can build a better connection, a better partnership, a better neighborhood, and ultimately a better world. Who knows maybe one day you will become a part of a family with a future generation of brilliant talents? With such small act, you may also contribute to solving one of the toughest problems this country faces―a low birth rate, and contribute to making a world full of brighter future.
Dear Members of the Graduating Class,
Wherever you go, you can be sure that your alma mater will be with you every step of the way, guiding you towards your goals and supporting your ambitions. We sincerely hope that you remain connected and engaged with UNIST in the years to come.
Once again, congratulations on your well-deserved success and best of luck for your future endeavors.