Navigating Boundaries, Embracing Unity: Celebrating the 46th Commencement Exercises at MSU-Maguindanao

Mindanao State University – Maguindanao Chancellor Bai Hejira Nefertiti M. Limbona, MSU System President Atty. Basari D. Mapupuno, Guest of Honor and Speaker Atty. Darlene Berberabe, Board of Regents, MSU System Officials, Faculty Members, General Support Staff, and Parents graced the 46th Commencement Exercises with the theme “Navigating Boundaries, Embracing Unity” as 321 graduates, wearing their dream maroon togas, on July 6, 2024, at the Datu Odin Sinsuat Gymnasium.

Chancellor Bai Hejira Nefertiti M. Limbona expressed her honor in welcoming everyone to this year’s commencement. She conveyed her gratitude to the parents and guardians of the graduates for their tireless efforts and support as the graduates prepared to venture on new paths beyond the university. She emphasized that the graduates carry not only their own dreams but also the dreams of their parents, community, and their alma mater, MSU-Maguindanao.

Atty. Darlene Marie “Lelen” B. Berberabe, UP Law Dean and Guest of Honor and Speaker, delivered a commencement speech that left the audience in awe. She inspired the graduates to embrace life’s uncertainties by sharing her own story. She imparted that “many people tell us many things, warn us against many things which make us more afraid, uncertain, and doubtful of ourselves. I also learned that instead of listening to what many people tell us, it is wiser to rely on your independent thinking and listen to the few people who truly care for you, and who truly matter in your life.” She added, “Every time I was told I could not or should not do something because it was hard, I took the lead. And I am who I am and where I am now: happy, inspired, still learning, and paying it forward.”

Also, she urged the graduates to trust their instincts and take chances, reminding them that saying “no” ends their part in the story. “When you are not sure, when all you see is uncertainty, when you cannot see clearly, but your gut tells you there is a chance, I say, go for it. You will never know unless you try.” She concluded with the words, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

For the first time in 50 years, the General Support Staff joined the Processional March at this year’s commencement ceremony.

MSU System President Atty. Basari D. Mapupuno conferred degrees to the graduates, highlighting their academic achievements and the institution’s commitment to excellence.

In turn, Mr. Wezam M. Hassan, MSU System Student Regent, led the pledge of loyalty, while Dr. Renato Boniao, MSU System Alumni Regent, inducted the graduates into the Alumni Association, symbolizing their ongoing connection and commitment to their alma mater.

Ms. Mohadia A. Dimasingkay, 2024 Class Valedictorian and a proud daughter of a former MILF combatant, conveyed inspiring thoughts to her fellow graduates. She encouraged them to view extracurricular activities as valuable opportunities to test their limits and unlock their true potential. Reflecting on her own experiences, she shared how she transformed setbacks into lessons for improvement. “Bilang mga iskolar ng bayan, ibalik natin ang serbisyo sa ating bayan. Hinanda tayo ng MSU Maguindanao na magkaroon ng kaalaman na siyang magagamit natin para baguhin ang buhay at tulungan ang mga kapwa nating Pilipino na hindi pinalad na magkaroon ng parehong oportunidad na mayroon tayo,” she concluded.

Indeed, the 46th Commencement Exercises at Mindanao State University – Maguindanao was a capturing moment, which highlighted the graduates’ journey of overcoming challenges and breaking barriers to build unity and uphold the university’s core values in their future efforts.