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Between Farewell and Departure: Jacobs University celebrated its 19th Graduation

Traditional Hat Toss of the Class of 2022 at Jacobs University Bremen. (Source: Jacobs University)


June 16, 2022
Atmospheric, diverse, celebratory and often very moving: With 1,600 guests, Jacobs University Bremen celebrated their graduates. More than 470 students counted the "Class of 2022", which is the largest graduating class in the history of the still young, English-speaking university. The festivities extended over three days. One of the highlights, in addition to the commencement gala on Thursday and the graduation party on Saturday, was the diploma ceremony followed by the traditional hat toss on Friday.

Keynote speaker Serg Bell encouraged the graduates to be entrepreneurs and bring about change. (Source: Jacobs University)

Parents, relatives and friends traveled to Bremen from all over the world to celebrate with the graduates and their successful completion of one stage of their lives and the beginning of another. The joy of meeting in person again characterized the mood on campus. After all, lockdowns, travel restrictions, online classes and the outbreak of a war in Europe had shaped the Class of 2022's time at university. "You have overcome the most challenging years ever faced by a cohort," said Professor Fabio Pammolli, President of Jacobs University, during Thursday's commencement gala. "For that, I congratulate you!"

The impact of the pandemic also played a central role in the graduate students' speeches during the gala. "Without the support of the community on campus, we never would have crossed the finish line," emphasized Eleanor Cwik and Wyatt Kim Peoples, who spoke on behalf of the bachelor's degree graduates. Abdul Moeez Qureshi, who spoke on behalf of the master's degree graduates, had a similar view. "Many of us came to a country whose language and culture we did not know. And this was during a pandemic. It wasn't easy." Jacobs University, he said, helped to overcome the challenges and to grow beyond one's own limits.

Big applause was given to Markus Gross, the guest speaker at the gala. The Professor of Computer Science at ETH Zurich and Director of Disney Research in Zurich emphasized the importance of education and shared lessons from his own journey with the graduates. Professor Gross called for investment in education, not only one’s own but also in that of one’s future children. Education is timeless, he said, and passing it on to a new generation promises great benefits.

Serg Bell, keynote speaker of the gala, highlighted, that the most success in financial terms and in terms of changing life is achieved by being an entrepreneur. “What makes a good entrepreneur?” he asked – his answer: Being driven by ambition and initiative, being alert, responsive, detail-oriented, decisive, active and never giving up. Serg Bell is Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Schaffhausen Institute of Technology (SIT) and Chairman of the Board of Governors of Jacobs University.

Stefan Rustler, President of the Alumni Association of Jacobs University, welcomed the graduates to the community of about 5,000 Alumni. This community, Rustler said, is characterized by shared values, including a belief in the power of diversity.

While Thursday's gala kicked off the three-day festivities, diplomas were awarded to graduates in a celebratory setting on Friday. The traditional hat toss rounded off the diploma ceremony, as did the party on Saturday evening, where students once again celebrated their success as a close-knit community.

Watch the Commencement Gala 2022 on YouTube: