A graduation ceremony is a truly memorable occasion, a time of joy and congratulations for those graduating. On 8 October, The School of St Jude hosted the first ever Beyond St Jude’s Recognition Ceremony, a day to recognise years of hard work and dedication.
The event was organised to celebrate the 2022 all St Jude’s alumni graduating from different universities and colleges in and outside Tanzania. The school thought it would be wonderful to dedicate the day to highlight their accomplishments and celebrate them all in one location.
There were 35 graduates in attendance from different fields, all dressed in impeccable navy-blue graduation gowns with their different coloured scarves highlighting their different fields of expertise. St Jude’s Alumni Association was glad and honoured to introduce these alumni as engineers, doctors, nurses, financiers, engineers, teachers, businessmen and women, entrepreneurs, and countless other professionals.
The day started with photo sessions in the morning. Photos of the graduates standing proud with broad smiles, with their friends and fellow 2022 graduates, with family members (who looked very proud), with the guests and the Guest of Honour, board Chairperson Bibiana Mardai.
After the photo session, there was a procession into the venue. The primary drummers started with a loud and glorious bang, to a beautiful and powerful rhythm that brought everyone to attention. The drummers walked in front (one day they will be in the same position as the 2022 graduates, however that’s a story for another day) and behind them followed 35 well-dressed ladies and gentlemen, walking in two lines and smiling.
They walked graciously as they made their way to the venue, just before they reached the entrance the primary drummers parted and the graduates walked between them. The drums stopped and the graduate’s song begun. They swayed to the music with the audience standing up to cheer them on. The graduates did not enter the venue alone, they had the support of the Heads of Schools, Senior Managers and Guest of Honour behind them. How powerful is that? Once they took their seats the celebration started.
Benjamin Lembao, a recent graduate from Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT), gave a speech on behalf of his fellow graduates. He first congratulated his fellow 2022 graduates, then he thanked St Jude’s, his family and the supporters. Benjamin went on to quote Martin Luther King, “Intelligence plus character, that is a goal of true education”. We must remember that it’s not about what we know, but what we can do with what we know. Your education should be beyond the classroom walls. For it’s not all about academics, it’s also about developing individuals that have skills and abilities to become great and productive members of our communities.” We are happy to see that our graduates are going to take their education further and become people the community can be proud of.
Guest of Honour, Bibiana Madai gave an incredible and inspiring speech, during which she reminded the graduates that, “To move forward, you have to give back. We at St Jude’s want you to be the future moral and intellectual leaders. To be happy, you should give something back. It’s a lesson that your education at St Jude’s and in university has instilled in you. Give back to your community and Tanzania!” We hope the graduates took her words to heart and will always remember them.
All the graduates were awarded pins and a select few were given awards for their outstanding performance in university and leadership positions held.
What is a celebration without entertainment and food? Fortunately, and in true St Jude’s fashion, we had both at the ceremony. There was a performance from the girls’ secondary school ngoma group, who did not disappoint, and the cooks prepared a delicious meal for all. And did we mention we had cake as well?
With that, we hope to see you at the next Beyond St Jude’s Recognition Ceremony. It was a wonderful event and we hope next year to see many 2023 graduates celebrating their success!
Before we sign off, we would once more like to congratulate the Class of 2022. We are proud of you.