From Vision to Achievement: Honoring the Class of 2023 at the UIII Commencement

Respected Head of the Board of Trustees, Bapak Jusuf Kalla,

Esteemed Ministry of Religious Affairs,

Distinguished Director General of Islamic Education,

Esteemed members of the faculty and staff at UIII,

My beloved students,

Assalamu’alaikum. Wr. Wb.

Today, a mix of emotions fills my heart as I stand before you on this significant day. This moment prompts me to reflect upon the remarkable journey we've shared. Our journey began with a dream and the vision of creating an institution that embodies knowledge, compassion, and progress. As I look around now, observing the splendid facilities, dedicated faculty, enthusiastic students, and committed staff, a sense of gratitude and pride engulfs me.

Our journey commenced from humble origins, fortified by determination, a shared vision, and unwavering belief in the transformative power of education. The path we tread was by no means easy. We encountered challenges that tested our resolve, insurmountable hurdles, and moments of uncertainty. But in those trying times, our unity became our strength. We rallied, persisted, and worked untiringly to turn our aspirations into reality.

As I survey the state-of-the-art mosque, the meticulously designed library, and the expansive campus before us, awe overwhelms me. We've erected not just physical structures, but also a haven of learning, a sanctuary for intellectual curiosity, and a space where dreams take root and flourish.

Yet, it's not only the physical aspects that inspire pride; it's the vibrant community that thrives within these walls. Our faculty members, who wholeheartedly devote themselves to teaching and research, have ignited sparks of inspiration in our students' hearts. These students, brimming with enthusiasm and a thirst for knowledge, consistently remind us of the reason we embarked on this journey. Our unsung heroes, the staff who tirelessly operate behind the scenes, are the gears that ensure the seamless functioning of this institution.

I am humbled by the passion each one of you brings to this university. Your commitment, energy, and steadfast belief in our shared mission are the driving forces behind our achievements. The curiosity that lights up a student's eyes and the sound of intellectual discussions resonating through the halls remind me that we've created something truly exceptional.

To all my dear students,

Today marks a pivotal juncture in an extraordinary voyage. As we gather to celebrate your achievements, we acknowledge a significant turning point in your lives. This event is not just a ceremony; it's the culmination of your persistence, dedication, and relentless pursuit of knowledge. It attests to your resilience, aspirations, and unwavering dedication to growth.

From the moment you entered these premises, you embarked on a transformative odyssey. You haven't merely absorbed knowledge; you've become integral to the intricate tapestry of our academic community. Every lecture, discussion, and late-night study session has contributed to the exceptional individuals we see before us today.

Your journey transcends textbooks and exams. It's a journey of self-discovery, of nurturing lifelong friendships, and conquering challenges that once appeared insurmountable. You've ventured into uncharted territories of research, explored intricate theories, and emerged as scholars prepared to carve your paths in the world.

As you stand at the threshold of your future, remember that your education's power extends far beyond these walls. It surpasses disciplines and borders, carrying the potential to shape industries, communities, and even nations. With each degree conferred today, a beacon of knowledge is ignited to illuminate your way forward.

However, with great knowledge comes great responsibility. You're not only equipped to succeed but also to lead with empathy, integrity, and purpose. In a world fraught with challenges, your unique perspectives and expertise are desperately needed. As graduates, you carry the torch of progress, the torch of positive change.

Amidst our celebrations, let's not overlook the unwavering support of those who've stood beside you—your families, mentors, and friends. Their encouragement, sacrifices, and belief in your potential have served as the wind beneath your wings. Let's take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude to them.

Graduates, as you step into the world, remember that the pursuit of knowledge is a lifelong endeavor. Your graduation doesn't signify the closing of a book but rather the turning of a page. So, keep learning, keep striving, and continue pushing boundaries.

Today, you join a lineage of thinkers, doers, and dreamers who've reshaped history's course. Allow your actions to resonate, let your impact extend far and wide. Graduates, you're not just acquiring degrees; you're accepting a mandate to improve the world.

Congratulations to the inaugural cohort of UIII's alumni in 2021. Your journey has been exceptional, and the world that awaits you is poised to be transformed by your brilliance.

To all Faculty Members and Staff of UIII,

I'm brimming with gratitude and profound admiration for the remarkable faculty members who've chosen to construct our vessel while navigating uncharted waters. Your dedication, commitment, and unrelenting passion for both research and teaching have not only illuminated our path but have also opened the door to a new realm of knowledge and comprehension.

Throughout this remarkable journey of education and exploration, you've stood at the helm, guiding us through unexplored realms of thought and discovery. Your unwavering pursuit of excellence has dispelled the darkness of ignorance, sparking the light of insight and enlightenment. With each delivered lecture, published paper, and breakthrough achieved, you've propelled our institution to new heights, transforming it into a beacon of inspiration.

Yet, your contributions transcend the academic realm. You've been mentors, guides, and pillars of support for countless students who've embarked on this transformative expedition under your tutelage. Your commitment to mentoring has not only shaped future minds but has also nurtured the spirits of those fortunate enough to learn from you. Your belief in us, your unwavering encouragement, and your investment in our growth have served as the wind beneath our wings, propelling us towards greatness.

On behalf of all the students whose lives you've touched, whose minds you've molded, and whose futures you've illuminated, I offer my deepest gratitude. Thank you for being the architects of our intellectual vessel, for steadfastly constructing its foundation, and for boldly venturing into the unknown alongside us. Your legacy will forever be imprinted in this institution's annals, a testament to your dedication and ardor.

Thank you, esteemed faculty members, for your relentless exertions, unwavering commitment, and indomitable spirit. May your legacy continue guiding future generations as they embark on their voyages of discovery.

To Esteemed Members of the Board of Trustees,

With utmost humility and a heart overflowing with gratitude, I stand before you today. Our journey, from the inception of this university to its present heights, attests to the unwavering support and guidance you've generously provided. Your faith in our vision and your resolute dedication to our cause form the bedrock on which this institution proudly stands.

When we embarked on establishing this university, we understood that the road ahead would be fraught with challenges, uncertainties, and obstacles. Nevertheless, your unwavering support has served as our guiding light, dispelling even the darkest shadows of doubt. Your faith in our potential, even before the foundation was laid, has propelled us forward.

You, dear Trustees, aren't merely custodians of this institution; you are its pillars. Your tireless efforts, sagacious counsel, and strategic insights have steered us through tumultuous waters, enabling us to weather storms that might have otherwise capsized us. During times of crisis, you've provided us with the refuge of your wisdom, suggesting solutions that have transformed challenges into opportunities for growth.

As we navigated through uncertainty, your guidance has illuminated our path even through the murkiest of tunnels. Your trust in our mission and your willingness to provide not only financial aid but also your time, energy, and expertise have catalyzed the transformation of obstacles into stepping stones toward success. Every milestone attained, every victory celebrated carries within it the essence of your unwavering dedication.

The establishment of this university isn't merely a structure of bricks and mortar; it's a monument to the potential of vision, determination, and the unwavering support you've offered.

Thank you, esteemed members of the Board of Trustees, for being our guiding stars, our shelters in times of need, and our beacons of light in the darkest tunnels. Our triumph is a testament to your commitment, and our gratitude knows no bounds.

Distinguished Representatives of the Ministry,

I stand before you with profound gratitude and humility as we reflect upon the journey we've collectively undertaken. Your unwavering support and encouragement have been pivotal to our endeavors, and I wish to convey our sincere appreciation for the role you've played in our success.

Our path hasn't always been smooth, and our eagerness to excel might have occasionally seemed overwhelming. For any instance where our enthusiasm appeared overbearing, please accept our heartfelt apologies. Our intentions were consistently rooted in the sincere desire to uphold the values and aspirations that we share with the Ministry.

Your continual support has been the driving force propelling us through challenges and driving us toward accomplishments we could not have achieved on our own. Your confidence in our mission, your trust in our potential, and your dedication to the betterment of our collective objectives have formed the foundation upon which we've constructed our progress. As we've undertaken ambitious projects and initiatives, we've perpetually sensed your presence beside us, offering guidance, wisdom, and a helping hand. The Ministry's endorsement and resources have empowered us to create meaningful change and impact lives in ways we'd once only imagined.

Recognizing the collaborative essence of our journey, we acknowledge that no journey is devoid of imperfections. Therefore, it is with sincerity that we extend our apologies for any instances where our determination might have appeared overpowering. It was never our intention to overshadow the guidance and expertise that the Ministry brings to the table.

I wish to express our heartfelt gratitude. Your support has fortified our spirits and enabled us to achieve heights we'd scarcely dreamed of. We commit to continuing our efforts aligned with the principles and values we share, and we eagerly anticipate further opportunities to contribute to our shared vision.

Once again, we extend our gratitude for your unwavering support and apologize for any instances of zealousness. With the Ministry's guidance and collaboration, we anticipate even greater accomplishments together.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our university's mission to propagate the middle path of Islam isn't merely an aspiration; it's a commitment to nurturing an environment that embodies the essence of humanity, values differences, upholds human dignity, and inspires genuine progress. This path of Islam, often referred to as "Al-Wasatiyyah," embodies the core principles of balance, moderation, and tolerance. It's a path that instructs us to find equilibrium between faith and reason, spirituality and worldly pursuits. This perspective encourages us to approach our studies and lives with open hearts, recognizing the richness that diversity adds to our comprehension of faith and society.

In a world occasionally fractured by dogma and discord, the mission we've undertaken stands as a beacon of hope. By embracing the middle path, we foster a space where individuals from all walks of life can unite, engage in meaningful dialogue, and celebrate our shared humanity. We believe that genuine progress arises when we unite under compassion, empathy, and mutual respect.

As we focus on Indonesia as a distinctive destination for studying Islam, we acknowledge this nation's immense potential. Indonesia, with its diverse culture, storied history, and tradition of pluralism, embodies the principles we hold dear. It's a place where Islam coexists harmoniously with local traditions and other faiths, serving as an example for the world.

Indonesia provides a unique opportunity for students seeking an education in Islam that transcends borders. Here, they can witness firsthand how a religion can be a source of inspiration and progress while respecting unity and tolerance. By selecting Indonesia as a destination for studying Islam, we're not merely choosing a location; we're embracing a philosophy, a way of life, and a vision for the future.

I encourage you to join us in this noble undertaking as we progress with our mission. Let's stand united in our commitment to upholding the middle path of Islam—a path that prioritizes humanity above all, values diversity, and envisions progress through unity. Let's empower our students to become global ambassadors of peace, understanding, and positive change.

In conclusion, I invite you to participate in this journey. Together, let's collaborate to create a world where the teachings of Islam radiate as a beacon of hope and a source of inspiration for all. Together, we can construct bridges of understanding, foster a spirit of dialogue, and leave an enduring legacy of harmony and progress for generations to come.

This institution, this community, exemplifies what's achievable when we unite with a shared purpose. Today, I stand before you not just as the leader of this university but as a fellow traveler on this remarkable journey. I am thrilled, inspired, and eternally thankful for every one of you.

Thank you, and wassalamu’alaikum wr. wb.