Graduation ceremony for the graduates of 2020

Emotional return to the school for their graduation, one year later…

A different graduation ceremony for the graduates of 2020, it was held a year later due to coronavirus

With an emotional, special and exquisite celebration, 12th grade students of the school year 2020 of Mandoulides Schools, being university students now, bid farewell to their school life a year after the scheduled but cancelled due to coronavirus graduation ceremony.

It was a celebration full of memories, wishes, music, a screening of “moments” of school life and moving speeches. The event took place on the Junior – Senior High School premises, on Monday, 28 June 2021.

The keynote speaker of the event was Mr. Adam Papadamakis, Professor of Criminal Law in the Law School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

In the beginning of his speech, Mr. Papadamakis referred to the founder of the Schools, Evangelos Mandoulidis, who was one of Mr. Papadamakis’ instructors at a private coaching school of Thessaloniki.

Later on, he addressed the graduates of 2020 and university students for the past year and, as a professor during these challenging times, he conveyed a message of hope and self-esteem to them: “You have graduated from this school, but this journey wasn’t concluded with the usual festive farewell. You managed to get admitted into the school of your preference, but you didn’t actually enter the lively buildings of your Schools, you didn’t come in real contact with your fellow students, you didn’t experience the atmosphere in the university amphitheaters during lesson deliveries. You transitioned from the distance education of the school to that of university. Nevertheless, your generation has gained a lot.

Truth be told, your generation is now prepared and experienced in dealing with challenges. You now possess the ability to effectively handle a transition from the security of the predictable to the insecurity of the unpredictable, with which the pandemic has made us familiarize ourselves. Such a perspective and mindset don’t signify historically illiterate innocence, but portray social maturity, personal conscience and education being cultivated.

Under these conditions, today’s graduation ceremony contains a powerful symbolism: it represents a restart and optimism, which connect the puzzling and sad 2020 with the hopeful and  reflective 2021, while it signals the Schools’ genuine blessing in relation to your academic life, social development and recognition, and actually life itself.”

A farewell speech to the graduates was delivered by the President of Mandoulides Schools, Mrs.  Aikaterini Mandoulidou, who stressed: “Proceed in life with values and optimism, following the example of life set by the founder of the Schools, outstanding teacher and dreamer, Evangelos Mandoulidis, who supported that  “ Life itself requires virtue and courage! Bliss requires virtue and courage! Success requires virtue and courage! Meritocracy requires virtue and courage!”

Mr. Evangelos Mandoulidis was a fighter in life since the day he was born, in times much harder than the current. Let his life course set an enlightening paradigm for you (outstanding, proud graduates of the Schools of Evangelos Mandoulidis) and, as you proceed in the stages of your life, let it contribute to your efforts to surpass difficulties and strive for a better future for you and your country, while possessing principles, values and high ideals.”

Addressing the graduates’ parents, she thanked them for the trust they have been exhibiting during all these years and she highlighted: “In this critical period, when the economic crisis has severely afflicted our country, you selected Mandoulides Schools for your children’s education. You have chosen to invest, employing all possible economic resources available to you, to your children’s education, the most certain and secure investment.”

General Director and Senior High School Principal of the Schools, Dr.Aspa Chasioti, who attended to the organization of the event, welcomed the attendants and highlighted: “We welcome you to this distinct celebration and we thank you for your presence. We are here to bid goodbye to the 12th grade students of 2020, one year after the scheduled date of their graduation ceremony, due to the extraordinary conditions imposed on a global scale by the pandemic. We are significantly satisfied that our promise made a year ago is now being realised and we are able to bid goodbye to our students today, wishing that the years to come will be proven favourable to them and full of good luck and pleasant adventures.”

Addressing the graduates, she provided them with 12 pieces of advice, as many as the months of the year which had passed by: “Get accustomed to dream and take risks. Pursue and honor your dream as if your life is dependent upon it. – Do what you love or love what you do. – Love. Love deeply. Don’t be frugal with love. – Technology is positive, it has been life-saving this year, but nothing compares to human contact. – Go the extra mile. Make the most of yourselves. Say “thank you,” “you are welcome,” as well as “sorry.” Provide positive reinforcement. Be generous with it. It will come back to you. –

Always be honest, in order to be able to sleep peacefully at night – Maintain a positive stance towards life, so that life will be positive for you, too. – Live for today and work for tomorrow. – Equip yourselves with a lot of tools, for the future will inflict challenges upon you. – Paradise isn’t a chimera! It’s a human right! – All that you are searching for is inside you. – Finally, you ought to grant yourselves a pleasant Greek summer, abundant in light and sea,” she urged the 2020 graduates.

At the ceremony honorary awards were given to graduates who were admitted into top American and European universities, gained distinctions in international and national competitions in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology or exhibited remarkable performance in computer science, Forensics, international conferences, Greek language, music, theater, dance, drawing and, of course, sports.

The “Evangelos Mandoulidis” award was presented to graduate Nefeli Konstantinidou, Biology Olympiad winner and undergraduate student in the School of Medicine of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, while the farewell speech on behalf of this year’s graduates was delivered by graduates Zoe Kamopoulou, undergraduate student in the Law School of the Sorbonne University in France and Stergios Mastoris, undergraduate student in the School of Economics of the Boconni University in Italy. The graduates were welcomed to the Alumni Association of Mandoulides Schools by the alumna Christina – Dionysia Sarantidou, Lawyer.

The graduation ceremony, at which all the necessary protective measures against coronavirus were taken, was attended by parents, graduates’ relatives and members of the teaching personnel.

Photos

The Mandoulides Schools turns the page...

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