Webster University Geneva celebrated the culmination of the academic year with a memorable commencement ceremony held on Saturday, May 9th 2015. To mark Webster University’s centennial anniversary, Dr Acedo, Director, Webster University Geneva, invited a highly distinguished guest to deliver the keynote address. Mr. Michael Møller serves as the Acting Director-General of the United Nations office in Geneva (UNOG) and was appointed to this position by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2013.
While Mr. Møller was born in Denmark, he served in different capacities in the United States, Iran, Mexico, Haiti and Switzerland. In his actual functions, based in Geneva, his preoccupations and challenges are global. In his inspiring commencement speech, Mr. Møller drew parallels between the United Nations—which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year—and Webster University. In particular he spoke about being united in educating future generations, playing an active international role, all the while maintaining a sense of individual responsibility.
The Acting Director-General of UNOG alluded on several occasions to the butterfly effect which refers to interdependence of our world and how a small event at one end of the world, can greatly impact the lives at the other end of the planet. Mr. Møller proposed: “And therefore we all have much greater power to change things than we may realize. That is why our choices matter. And that is why we need to make the right ones, and to always be conscious of how they are connected to the world around us.”
For all those present at this year’s commencement ceremony—especially students coming from 50 countries around the globe—the keynote address resonated on an emotional level and touched each and everyone. Mr. Møller’s words balanced the power of the individual with the challenges of today’s world. He concluded his address by offering: “The most important task in education is not the teaching of facts, but instilling values as a moral compass that will guide us in making the right choices.”