24 April 2018 marked an important day. A total of 138 water professionals from over 50 different countries walked towards the historical Old Church in Delft to receive their diplomas. We celebrated the accomplishments of our hard-working students leading up to the moment of their graduation. IHE Delft wishes all graduates the very best in their blooming careers as water experts.
Welcome to the water family
The graduates will now join the IHE Delft alumni family of over 15.000 alumni across the globe. The students were cheered on by over 200 guests, including family, friends, the Dutch families and IHE Delft staff. The graduation ceremony was live streamed for family and friends who were not able to travel to Delft to join the celebration. Many of the graduates were wearing traditional attire, proudly showcasing their heritage and representing their home countries.
The ceremony began with the Rector of IHE Delft, Professor Eddy Moors welcoming everyone and thanking the donors who have made it possible to provide fellowships to a great number of students. Eddy Moors: “They made it possible for you to come here, but also enable us to send you back to make a difference in your home country”.
Generation of change
This year’s key note speaker was Niels Dierckx, Programme Director of Justdiggit, who urged the next generation of water professionals to make their marks in the world. Niels Dierckx: “Think big, you are the generation with all the access and all the resources to solve the problems we currently have. They can only be addressed if we think differently than we have been doing in the past, and you have the tools to make it happen”. On the actual graduation ceremony, Mr. Dierckx said that “the fact that there are so many people from all these different countries is unlike anything I have ever seen, it is an honour to be here”. During his speech, he remarked on the fact there were so many different nationalities seated in the church benches: “this is the closest I will ever come to addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations”.
IHE Delft alumnus and State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water of Argentina, Pablo Bereciartua received a special token of appreciation for his work in the water field and continuous involvement with IHE Delft. “Dream really big” Mr. Bereciartua said, as he recalled his time at IHE Delft. “We have a big opportunity to reshape our relationship with nature, and water is definitely at the centre of that big challenge, but also a big opportunity to reach sustainable development. You have the opportunity and responsibility of leading this particular change”. Additionally, Karin Roelofs of the Directorate General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs addressed the 15 graduates who received a SIDS fellowship under the DUPC2 programme.
The ceremony concluded with a performance from three students: Uwe Best, Maria Wunsch de Alvarenga and Cristiano von Steinkirch Oliveira, who sang a song with the message to embrace their future after IHE Delft with open arms, after which the graduates, Professors, IHE Delft staff and guests walked back to the institute for goodbye drinks and a lively farewell party.