The fall semester graduation ceremony isn’t until Dec. 21, but another graduation ceremony occurred in the Granite room in Atwood Memorial Center this Thursday. The Global Leadership Academy at SCSU held a ceremony honoring the semester’s graduates, faculty and sponsors of the academy.
The ceremony was led by the academy director and communication studies professor, Bassey Eyo. The keynote speaker, academy graduate Molly Lou Pintok, was unable to attend the ceremony, but Eyo spent the ceremony awarding plaques to SCSU faculty Mikhail Blinnikov and Kikuko Omori. Both Blinnikov and Omori gave brief speeches about the academy and being global leaders.
Blinnikov said that being international isn’t necessarily the same as being global, and vice versa. Omori said that no matter how knowledgeable a person is on the world, or if they are multilingual, there is “no reason to get off the path.”
Eyo also awarded plaques to the academy’s sponsors, which was the St. Cloud Granite Rotary International, Premier Real Estate, and Farmers Insurance.
Eyo said that organizing the academy is a volunteer position. Eyo said the academy originally formed in the late 1980s, and later discontinued. Though, with funding provided by the rotary six years ago, the academy was able to start again. Rotary “provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and builds goodwill and peace in the world,” according to the St. Cloud Granite Rotary’s website. Eyo said that he admires how the rotary bridges community and school.
Eyo said that a re-energizing of the academy started last semester, and that the students get a lot out of this workshop. The academy will start again next semester, and there is no webpage for the website yet.
Interconnectedness in the world was emphasized during the ceremony with rituals performed by the students and Eyo. The graduates joined their hands together to repeat Eyo as he spoke phrases including “The world is in my hands” and “My religion is to do good.”
The ceremony was not complete without the graduates each receiving their plaques, honoring their completion of the academy’s workshop, which graduate Antoinette Kenneth said was six weeks long. Kenneth pointed out that not all of the graduates are global studies majors, as she, herself, is double majoring in mass communications and psychology.
Academy graduate, Nicole Grant, a global studies major, said that the goal of the Global Leadership Academy is to learn how to be global leaders, and to take what they have learned and implement it in their daily lives. To take their skills and make a difference against injustices, Grant said.
“It may not be a perfect world, but it’s the world that we got,” Eyo said.