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The University celebrates the investiture of 319 PhDs from 26 countries

"It has fallen to you to finish your thesis in the midst of a pandemic. You have been courageous and tenacious; you have listened neither to the discouraging messages nor to the siren voices," says the President

FotoManuelCastells/The University of Navarra held the investiture ceremony this afternoon, attended by some of the 319 PhDs who have defended the thesis in the last two academic years.

04 | 06 | 2021

A total of 319 PhDs, belonging to 16 Schools and schools of the University of Navarra, have defended their thesis during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years. The investiture of new PhDs was held in the Museum of the academic centre. For the first time, it was a joint ceremony for two graduating classes, as last year's ceremony could not be held due to the health status .

Despite the pandemic, the more than 300 thesis were defended by doctors from 26 countries: Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Czech Republic, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, USA, Honduras, India, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Uganda and Venezuela.

"It has fallen to you to finish your thesis in the midst of a pandemic. But you have been brave and tenacious. You have listened to neither the discouraging messages nor the siren calls. You have completed your work under the most difficult conditions," acknowledged President, Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero.

"Today we celebrate an inheritance," he said at the beginning of his speech speech. "The new doctors trained at the University of Navarra have taken up the baton at degree program : you are already the protagonists of an exciting adventure. You are the heirs of the men and women who decided to work for a world in which the knowledge would be at the service of all. plenary session of the Executive Council Because that is the only driving force that gives meaning to research: its positive impact on the lives of many people.

At the University of Navarra," he added, "we have shaped a truly humanist institution, which seeks to illuminate every corner of knowledge in order to place it at the service of others," he stressed. This, in an almost literal sense according to Professor Sánchez-Tabernero, was what Francisco Ponz, the third President of the University, who died last December, did. He emphasised his dedication to study, his humility and his status as a teacher.

On humility, he recalled how he used to advise his students to shy away from individualistic competitiveness, an "almost revolutionary" statement in the contemporary world, said President. He was well aware that science almost never comes from the brilliant idea of genius, but is often the fruit of teamwork," he said. work . He knew that ivory towers are a drag on knowledge".

research to confront a global tragedy

Ramón Salaverría, professor at School de Comunicación and sponsor of the graduating class, said that "today seemed improbable. More than one, in moments of anxiety, would have even considered it impossible". This auditorium, he pointed out, is today a monument to sacrifice and to Withdrawal: "You have all made an effort that only you, and your most beloved people, know how far it will go".

"Doctoral studies has never been an easy task. It is a path that demands singular effort, conviction and discipline. A long, lonely pathway , with numerous steep slopes and not a few precipices," said the professor. result "However, rarely has goal been so remote and unattainable as on this occasion," he added.

In his opinion, this time has revealed to us that research activity "is transitory, transitive and, above all, transcendent. Rarely has this finalist character of science been more evident than during this uncertain era in which we live. The world has needed researchers to face a global tragedy. Each one of you, in your own way discipline, has managed to find the way out".

For his part, Javier Sáez Gastearena, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, referred to that value which over the last year has often become "the cornerstone" of the work of the new doctors. "The courage to remain sensible and resist the temptation to get carried away. To not see anything, but to keep fighting and moving forward; successfully or not," he stressed.

The researcher thanked the role of the people and institutions that have been involved in his training, including the University, his directors at thesis and especially his family and friends "for always persevering and for their unconditional affection, trust, understanding and encouragement".

The thesis defended in the academic year 2019-20 and 2020-21 have been made possible thanks to the contribution of institutions such as the association of Friends of the University of Navarra, Fundación La Caixa, Fundación Caja Navarra and Banco Santander.