Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr., the incoming Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) served as the Commencement Speaker of the first virtual and systemwide graduation ceremony of the Visayas State University (VSU). This was live streamed on VSU’s official Youtube page on September 30, 2020.

Dr. Camacho opened his commencement address by congratulating the VSU community for delivering quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating higher and postgraduate education that cultivated the Class of 2020 graduates to be globally competitive and ready for the demands of the fourth industrial revolution.

He went on by describing any graduation ceremony as a significant occasion marking an important milestone in the lives of the graduates that should inspire them to continuously work even harder for the fulfillment of their dreams and aspirations.

The chancellor-elect then proceeded to explain the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic and how it is reshaping almost all sectors of the country while unmasking the digital divide that has inhibited people’s access to quality education, work, and various livelihood opportunities.

“We have been experiencing for several months now the huge impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our economy and social life, as well as in the university on how we teach, do research, and engage with our communities. At the national scale, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated our difficult task of alleviating poverty and unemployment, in ensuring food security, and in raising income and productivity,” Dr. Camacho said.

The commencement speaker then shared that he empathizes with the sense of loss that the VSU Class of 2020 is presently experiencing due to COVID-19 as this global pandemic has robbed them of their defining moment and a rite of passage for their professional future.

“I am so heartbroken as you are that your final months at VSU and the multiple opportunities to celebrate your crowning achievements are being impacted by this global crisis. With these stresses and uncertainties, it is important that you, graduates of Visayas State University, are future-proof and acquire a strong foundation to anticipate and adapt to change and confront the next normal head-on with sheer determination and resolve.”

He then explained how fresh graduates from all parts of the globe are entering a ‘VUCA world’, which means Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. For Dr. Camacho, the VSU Class of 2020 should be armed with courage, patience and a clear resolve to rebuild lives and communities with optimism, faith, and hope for them to combat the present and future challenges brought by the ‘VUCA world’.

Despite all these, Dr. Camacho reassured the newly graduated Viscans that the education and training they have acquired from VSU will surely enable them to embrace and conquer not only the challenges brought by the pandemic including the disruptions caused by the fourth industrial revolution but also all other tests and crises that they may encounter in the future.

“I am confident that with the high-quality Visayas State University education and training you have acquired, such as problem-solving, digital, and critical thinking skills, a better appreciation of interdisciplinary and global engagement, innovation, creativity, ability to think outside the box, honesty, hard work, and integrity, you are so much equipped to face the new world with adaptability and resilience,” the Chancellor-elect concluded.

A total of 1,713 graduates from all 5 campuses of the VSU system were honored in the virtual graduation ceremony.

A microsite of #VSUGrad2020 will soon be launched compiling all the parts of the 67th Commencement Exercises to allow our graduates and their parents to conveniently replay and relive this historic milestone.