Guests and awards
Look at the gallery to see some of the guests that have recently taken part in the Degree Ceremony and held speeches for Ca’ Foscari’s new graduates.
A number of the best students of each degree session come to the stage during the ceremony. Look at all the students that received awards as “Best student of the session" on the page "Awards and distinctions".
September 24, 2020 - St. Mark’s Square
“Serendipity teaches us that Nature is always greater than our imagination. Good ignorance is being humble enough to say ‘I do not know yet’. Freedom to learn and discover should not be taken for granted — it is heritage and as such it must be guarded, and you are its guardians. Don’t settle: strive for an unreachable goal that will always remain unreachable. I hope you will find such a goal. I hope you will work hard and rejoice at your serendipitous discoveries and dreams.”
“We shouldn’t be afraid of diversity and dialogue. Go out into the world, get involved, don’t be afraid to say ‘I was wrong’ or ‘You were right’. Not everyone can have the career they wanted — even though I hope you will — but there is something that no one can ever take away from you. If you continue to study, the years ahead of you will belong to you and yourselves only, bringing opportunities to learn and expand your horizons. I am lucky to be the director of the Egyptian Museum in Turin, but at the end of the day I am and will always be an egyptologist. Your job title can change, but nothing can change the freedom that comes with research. Cherish that freedom, keep learning, invest in yourselves. As Horace said, ‘Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero pulsanda tellus’: now it is time to drink, now it is time to dance to a lively beat.”
“Follow your passions, your desires, even your fears. Rilke used to say that our fears are like dragons, guarding our most hidden treasures. Maybe one day I will overcome my fear of driving and I will find a treasure. Maybe I will be a spry old woman driving my car around Europe. This is rather optimistic of me — and it’s taken me a lifetime to understand that being optimistic is an intelligent thing to do. So consider the power of reason, as well as the power of emotions. Emotions will prompt you to do things, but reason is the ultimate guide. When you find your path, don’t hold back — go ahead and enjoy the journey. Be rational about your decisions and irrational about your passions. Seek after adventure, experience, poetry, inspiration and beauty, and apply yourselves to what you believe is right for you.”
“The word ‘future’ is banned from this country’s political agenda. Over the years I haven’t heard politicians say anything for young people. So it is up to you to change things, because you are building your own future, and change is what Italy needs. You need to be aware that this is where the climb starts, and we are rooting for you.”
“I was lucky enough to meet people who offered me opportunities, and this is what I wish for you. However, sometimes we need to create opportunities, so don’t be afraid to bother people and step forward, making sure you know your personality and your qualities well. Trust in yourself and develop your skills, and don’t listen to what other people say about you. Many of you will work in a team, but you should always keep in mind that it is your responsibility that matters. Competition won’t be easy — you might be overtaken by someone you think is inferior to you, but you should always hold on and keep believing in yourselves and in what you can offer. If you do that well, you can expect it of others, too.”
“The life we live is the most demanding teacher. I have always followed my interests, my passion and my intuition, using reason when necessary. I have learnt to appreciate courage, enthusiasm, willingness to work and the commitment to changing things. One of the watershed moments in my life was when I took responsibility for my inaction. The most important action is inside of you. Recognise your voice and follow it, but make sure you go deeper than the surface.”
“My advice is not to scatter the dreams of the boys and girls [like Maryam Abdullahi and Valeria Solesin] who were taken away by the evil that is in this world. The very students who were supposed to graduate with Maryam Abdullahi were the ones who took action, helping the victims’ families and creating Facebook pages to connect people. They decided not to be afraid. They decided to not only be good citizens, but also good ancestors, because they thought not only of the present, but also of the future of their country — a future without war, without terrorism. This is why I say that, although there will be many challenges, you should never let them put you down.”
“I thank all of you new graduates who are an inspiration to me. You are our future and our hope. I envy you a little bit: I am very lucky because I did many great things and I had many first times in my life but the starting point is always the greatest moment. Life is incredible and a friend once told me that life has more fantasy than us and it is absolutely true. Curiosity is key and makes things happen. Passion and ambition are important but passion gets you to cross the finish line. Kids, good luck with all my heart!”.
“I’ve been looking at school desks since I was four years old, and have slowly understood what it means to be a teacher and a man. It is with great joy that I see you move out into the world; the world needs you. This represents a moment of hope: we need people who fight with the sword and shield of culture. I can’t teach you anything, you already know what to do: help others understand what is beauty. In the face of all that is ugly in the world, keep a steady heart. It is the heart and what it can offer that counts”.
“To be here today at Ca' Foscari is an honour for me. I would like to give you a few guidelines for your future. Be courageous is the first. Believe in yourselves. Each one of us has different strengths. Do not be afraid of making mistakes. We all do. If you don’t make mistakes, you don’t learn. So don’t be afraid and don’t stop trying. Start again on new foundations. Remember that teamwork is everything and all the people who are part of the team are fundamental to its success. Do things others don’t. Do something different, dare. Be hungry. Your life is yours”.
“I’d like to talk to you about failure because this is often the door that takes you to a new life. Not one success story exists that has not passed through that door. Play down failure; it is an occasion to go that step further. What counts is the speed with which you get back on your feet. No one is the same person throughout life. The people who change things are those who are able to adapt and reinvent themselves. It all depends on you. Your future is in your hands”.
“Our economic and productive system is like a plant that is solidly rooted in soil. For it to flower After a long winter, you need to prune it, cut off the dead wood. What we see today is what I like to call a new renaissance, a springtime where you have been grafted on the plant so that it can flower and bear much fruit”.
“Congratulations, today is a day of celebration. You have taken risks and can be satisfied with your results. I can only offer you one suggestion, don’t ever stop studying and continue to learn all your life long”.
“You have finished a route to success and have arrived at an important milestone. Now life starts. Do things well with humility. Serve others, as you would like to be served and learn the difference between fact and fiction. Life is a luxury; always remember to laugh. A sense of humour helps”.
“I have three key words to give you for your future: perseverance, Peter Pan and why. Perseverance, to obtain excellent results that overcome failure. Peter Pan, because you can’t go that further mile if you aren’t moved by a happy thought that will make you fly. Take what is yours and aim for the sky. And, finally, ask yourselves the why of things”.
“You have the duty to share your learning with the rest of society; it must be useful to all. You are one piece of a body that is bigger than you and your responsibility is greater as you have had the opportunity to study”.
“Take risks, each failure is half a victory. This is because you learn and because when one door closes, another opens. Listen to your heart and to your mind, your instinct and reason. Be curious towards the world. The most important thing is to not live the life that others have decided for you”.
“Keep abreast with change and technology; take advantage of the opportunities that can arrive from others with greater experience than yours. I wish you a splendid future”.
“All those who finish a course of study always remain a researcher. Never stop studying, searching and keeping up-to-date. This is how you achieve personal success. You must always remain students and all the knowledge you gain must merge together and interact”.
“The nation needs your strength, your willingness and your youth. Many games are played in life; some you win, some you lose but the real loss is if you don’t play at all. Therefore, play your games, fight your battles. Stay strong, stay hungry, stay alive”.
“Know how to handle imperfection. Know your priorities. Mix speed and alacrity together, determination and the tendency to doubt. And, again, never never give up. Never bail out. Never resign yourself knowing that a limit can be almost impossible to breach. Don’t waste time on impossible ventures but give your all in challenging situations”.
“Think outside the box, learn to recognise the red lights that will block your path and learn how to use them. Recognise the red lights that will free you to invest your professional energies to lead you to success because that is the only way to make Italy a great nation”.
“I see the army of the future lined up in front of me. Others have been here just like you in the over one hundred years of this university, famous all over the world, Do not be afraid of getting lost. Be inadequate – we are all badly equipped for life”.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi
“This is your square, it is your celebration and you have earned it. You will never forget this moment because it will remind you of where you come from. You are the ones who will lay the new foundations of this country and realise another great dream, the boldest experiment of the European Union”.
“Ability is the true driving force of change. Therefore, always take with you a travelling companion from whom you’ll never part: excellence in your work and in your behaviour”.
“My wish is for you to participate in this flourishing of knowledge, to enjoy this moment and to never stop growing which is the only gift that is given to us. My wish is for you to find someone to love, to look onto others as royalty and to construct your own crazy story”.
“I hope that you will be able to guard yourselves from moralism and from prudes who do not allow you to change the world. Also, not taking yourself too seriously is the beginning of individual responsibility and is the winning factor that I hope will help you create your lives. Do not accept rules that other impose on you. Let yourselves be the writers of your own future”:
“You have the historical, civil and moral duty of being optimists. You do not have the right to dream but the duty to dream. Every great work begins with a vision and if anyone should ever say to you that something is impossible, tell them they are wrong”.
Last update: 27/09/2022