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A virtual farewell for 1,780 students of a special graduation class

The University celebrated the second edition of the i de Alumni with a message of recognition and hope for final year students

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Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero, President , during his speech at the Alumni i, which was broadcast online. PHOTO: Manuel Castells
21/05/20 10:31 Isabel Rincón

No hugs, no handshakes, but messages of encouragement and gratitude for the 1,780 students who are finishing their programs of study at the University of Navarra this year. This is how the second edition of the i de Alumni took place, an event that the University of Navarra organized to accompany these students who, from one day to the next, have seen their university years come to an end without the opportunity to say goodbye physically to their professors and classmates due to the Covid19 pandemic. This year, the stage of the Alumni i moved from the Museum's theater to the screens of each computer. But it was not an act of farewell. "One stage ends, another begins. We go on together," was their motto.

The University's President Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero spoke live, took stock of the events of the past two and a half months, and congratulated the recent graduates. "You have reacted with maturity and professionalism. We have all learned something: when the unexpected storm comes, as has been the case, is where you discover who is a good sailor. Only your generation will be able to say that at the end of their university years they had to summon all their courage, all their determination, all their expertise, to face this great change that we have faced.

Alfonso Sanchez-Tabernero said they were a prepared class, although he warned that their path was not going to be Exempt of difficulties. "We have order to our Careers Office to do the impossible to help you. We have also established only for your promotion discounts of 25% in all the masters that are taught in the campus of San Sebastian, Pamplona and in the new urban headquarters in Madrid." The President also announced that a joint face-to-face graduation is being prepared for all students at the end of the first quarter of the next academic year, provided that the health authorities allow it.

The deans of all Schools wanted to address the new graduates in Medicine, Sciences, Law, Economics, Philosophy and Letters, Nursing, management assistants, communicators, engineers, pharmacists, educators, psychologists, theologians and architects. The top managers of the centers starred in videos full of nostalgia, but also of hope in the face of new challenges; of confidence in the possibilities and potential of these young people, trained to put all their knowledge at the service of society.

A specially prepared graduating class, called the 'crown graduating class', which has learned everything it has learned in the last few months and which could not be found at Study program. A privileged graduating class, as Alumni President Inés García Paine added. "We live in historic times. The great crises are for the great women and great men who have been trained in the great institutions. The pandemic that is sweeping the planet and that will put the resilience and spirit of all of us at test is the moment to show what our spirit is".

This virtual stage was visited by alumni , who gave advice to the new alumni, a family of 120,000 people from more than 100 countries. Including the journalist Luis Piedrahita, who intervened in a video: "We need young, strong and energetic ideas. We need you as relentless soldiers to defeat this status that is coming upon us," he said. Piedrahita, journalist partner on the program El Hormiguero, and graduate in 1998, defined the University as an unforgettable team of friends that is carried forever in the heart. "The University is always going to be someone to call," he concluded.

A gift from the Museum

During the event, a video of a new version of Gaudeamus Igitur, specially made for the occasion, was screened at position by Russian composer Kuzma Bodrov and performed by the University of Navarra Symphony Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Borja Quintas and Ekhi Ocaña. The initiative, which emerged from the area Campus Creativo del Museo Universidad de Navarra, is a gift from the members of the two ensembles, students of the academic center, to their fellow graduates this year. The young people interpreted the piece from their homes and made up for the few technical resources with creativity, affection and dedication, together with the work of the professionals who performed the coordination, editing and mixing tasks.