Good afternoon, distinguished guests, family and friends, esteemed faculty and administration. Thank you Roberta and Markus for your welcome. And hello to the legendary class of 2022!
First of all, we (and on behalf of the alumni community) would like to congratulate all of you on a job well done! You overcame all the hurdles, hanging in there when times were tough. You’re the most resilient and brave who managed to succeed in spite of the demanding circumstances, no matter the turn of events. We’re saying that out of enormous admiration. You made it. You’re graduating and we hope it feels real good.
This is a time for celebration. And yet before you go to be with the people you love (and you have every right to be impatient to do so), allow us to share a few observations about life after SSE Riga – observations based on our own personal experiences and those of hundreds of SSE Riga graduates out there.
As you’ve most likely realized by now, graduating from SSE Riga is no laughing matter. On the contrary, it’s serious business. You’re now off to prove yourselves professionally, to test your skills and challenge your abilities in the market. Expectations are high, hence dream big, be bold and work hard. The most impressive feats in the world have been accomplished by people who’ve had dreams beyond the grasp of many others. We wish you endurance and confidence as you embark on this next chapter. If you seek advice, reach out to fellow alumni to harness the knowledge and power of the network you’re now part of. We’re here for you. I’m mindful that nothing is more generously given in life than advice, however the network effects are typically positive.
We have gathered here to celebrate your achievements, yet today you’re also bound to be suffering from a certain amount of separation anxiety, as we all would. Most likely, you’re going to part company with a number of cherished friends. You’re going to say farewell to a place filled with fond memories. On behalf of the Alumni Association, we promise that you’ll have future get-togethers, including the annual HomeComing event, however, we encourage you to be proactive and stay connected to your classmates – many of them could become your lifelong friends. As important as meaningful work is, having good friends to spend time with is crucial – ready access to a willing ear, an understanding heart and a helpful hand… make time for your friends.
Frustrating as this may be, you’re now SSE Riga alumni for life and there is no way back. We hope you’ll embody this well-deserved status with great pride and we wish that your sense of belonging to the ever supportive School’s community remains a strong source of force and ambition to succeed throughout the years to come. And sooner than you might think, you’ll have gained the expertise and experience to share with future generations as, for instance, your alumni mentors happily did.
Allegedly, the human need for connectedness runs deep. We keep observing this within the alumni community, a highly engaged and vibrant group of graduates around the world and we are glad to welcome you on board.
Best of luck in your future endeavors! Let’s rise to the occasion with yet another round of applause to the class of 2022, congratulations!
Baiba Lokenbaha, President of the Alumni Association
Arta Beitāne, Board Member of the Alumni Association