June 11th 2011 was a very special day in the history of the International University of Monaco. Celebrating 25 years since inauguration and graduating 132 students from 41 countries, IUM displayed what it was conceived to be, a high level educational
institution for the international community. The ceremony was held in the stunning Salle des Etoiles of the Sporting d’Eté of Monte-Carlo.
Inception of the Ceremony
Dr. Antonella Patras, IUM’s new Dean, opened the ceremony by welcoming the graduating students, their parents and families, other guests, and the representatives of the Monaco Government: S.E.M Michel Roger, State Minister, Mr. Claude Peri, Director of the Monegasque National Education, Mr Roland Marquet (who represented Mr Jean-François Robillon, President of the Conseil National), and Mr Paul Masseron, Government Minister for the Interior.
She congratulated the graduands on their remarkable achievement, remarking:
« As you enter the community of Alumni of the International University of Monaco you take with you the experiences of the time you spent at IUM. I do not mean just the knowledge and skills that you have acquired, the ability to learn and to learn from others, but also, importantly, a deeper awareness of who you are, where your talents lie, and what you stand for. »
IUM was honored by the presence of the guest of honor, Dr. Martin Melaver, founder and CEO of Melaver McIntosh, a consulting firm focused on transformative strategies for regenerating communities. Dr. Melaver illustrated the importance for us to continuously adapt to new paradigms, by asking the audience to undertake a funny exercise of folding and releasing arms, some three times. He then requested those people who had folded the same arms all the three times to raise their hands, then he asked them to try and fold a different arm. His conclusion:
« You can choose to be a cynic, with arms folded defensively across your body, tensely deflecting the waves of change coming at us with greater force and persistence. Or you can change your posture and become the very change we need you to embrace and lead. Life indeed happens when you are planning something else. The choice is yours. I have every faith that you will choose wisely. »
Dr. Martin Melaver launched www.earthtlc.com website as his present to the IUM Class of 2011, the purpose for which is to encourage the graduates make direct contribution to the community and evoking, « If you think you are too small to make change, trying going to bed with a mosquito. »
In describing the website, « It’s called Earth TLC. The TLC bit might stand for ‘tender, loving, care’. We actually use it to stand for Total Liability Corporation. »
The website would go live at the end of the commencement. « You are invited to brand your class, maybe your school, as first-movers of a new type of joint venture » He added, « You get to own it! »
He continued, « To be the first to adopt the set of affirmations you find on this site, you are invited to send it along to others. You are invited to be at the vanguard of a new global leadership. »
All the graduands were then invited, one by one, to receive their commendations and diplomas. This sequence, where the Program Director gives a summary of a graduate’s personal achievements, always creates strong sentiments and emotion in the whole room. These words will probably stay with the parents’ and graduate’s mind for a while.
Société Générale Valedictorian Prize
Again this year, Société Générale, awarded the 1,000 Euro prize to each of the students who had the topmost grade in each program. The Valedictorians were: BSBA student Sushanth Nambiar (Indian), MBA student Lionel Gresse (French), MIBGA student Nicole Dong (Canadian), Luxury Goods student Anne-Sophie Wernerfelt (Danish) and Ashkan Senobari (Swedish) for the Master in Finance.
Best School Spirit Parmigiani Prize
Every year, the students elect the student who has exhibited an unwavering dedication to the core values of IUM: respect for others, honesty, integrity, cultural awareness, team spirit and a strong sense of ethics. The Best School Spirit Award is sponsored by the prestigious Swiss watch manufacturer, Parmigiani.
We were elated that Daniel Maior, an MBA student from Brazil, won the prize. Daniel always lightens the atmosphere with his smile and positive mindset, even in critical and tough times – Daniel received a uniquely engraved Parmigiani timepiece and gave this very special recognition:
« I don’t consider this prize as an individual one but as a collective award. It is the reflection of all the great people – students, professors and staff – that make IUM one of the top universities in the world. I am really happy and proud to represent all that. »
After the traditional cap throwing ritual, marking the end for the Ceremony, the glass roof and windows of the Salle des Etoiles opened onto the wonderful terrace overlooking the sea, where champagne glasses and sweets were served.
Crowning the Day
The day was crowned with a Gala Dinner at the Meridien Beach Plaza, where 400 guests were hosted. Who has enjoyed such extravaganza while overlooking the serene beauty of the Mediterranean? Shining in the ambience of the occasion, evening gowns and glamour, the Graduation Class of 2011 culminated their night at the famous nightspot « Jimmy’s. »