NOTE: “Leadership Reflections” shares views of the different members of the University Leadership Council on matters related to campus life and the operations of the University. As well, it features opinions on issues of national and/or international relevance.

Be Someone
By Dr. Ben S. Malayang III, President

(Speech delivered during the All-University Academic Convocation on 3 July 2012 at the Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium)  

I'm not really prepared to make a speech. I would rather talk to you. 

As often as we do this, whenever we come together at the beginning of the school year, I always think that this is the proper time to ask why we are here. And many of us come to school for many reasons. Well, maybe not; some just come, because they think that is the best thing to do. But many of us come to school because we have some vision of what we want to be by the time we finish school. We want to be something… a person that will be of value to society. And so we had chosen what we think would be our career path and commitments to a vocation.

Many of you may have a clear vision of yourself of being magnificent engineers, mathematicians, workers of the church; perhaps, a health worker; or, perhaps, a leader in communities. There are many of these visions of what we want to be. But I'd like to just simply come to you this morning to tell you that Silliman does have its own vision of what we want our graduates to be. We want our graduates not be something of society, but we want our graduates to become someone to themselves, to their family, to their community, and to their God. 

By the time you pass through the halls of Silliman and exit in the Portals of the University, carrying that Silliman certificate and diploma, we would hope that people will read in that diploma an attestation that you are a person of value, not only for what you can do, but because of your integrity, your character and your faith. 

Many can be good engineers, much better than many of those who will graduate from Silliman. Many can be good church workers. Many can be good mass communication workers. Many can be good leaders in society. But not all can be leaders with vision, with integrity, with character, and a commitment to a living God that makes a difference in their lives. That's what we want. That's what Silliman University is dedicated to make out of our graduates.

We hope that by the time you leave this University, you are not only transformed in terms of what your minds can do, but in terms as well of what your soul can become in terms of being sensitive to others. We would hope that by the time you leave Silliman, the whole of who you are becomes of value to yourself, to your family, to your community, and to your God. 

Indeed, be that Invictus that our Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Betsy Joy Tan was talking about (in her welcome remarks).

Godspeed! Because only God can really make a difference in your life in Silliman or anywhere.