25 April 2019 marked an important day. A total of 128 water professionals from over 40 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.
We need your help to share your knowledge
The graduates will now join the IHE Delft alumni family of over 23,000 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. He addressed the participants and said: ''water crises are a severe risk in the world and we need your help to share the knowledge to enable the water sector to make a step forward to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
He concluded by urging the graduates to keep in touch with IHE Delft, so we can learn and improve ourselves from your experiences in the future. With the group that is here, we will make a next step in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.''
It is now time to put into practice what you have learned
This year’s Graduation Address was given by Marja van Bijsterveldt, Mayor of Delft, who had welcomed the students on their arrival in Delft in 2017, at the opening of the Alumni in Action exhibition at Gemeente Delft. She said: ''you came from so many different countries to the Netherlands, to Delft, IHE Delft, to learn more about water management, to do research and to develop important competences and skills. You had to further specialize to become creative problem solvers in the area of water and environment.'' She is very proud that IHE Delft is located in Delft.
''You belong to the world’s top people as far as water management is concerned. It is now time to put into practice what you have learned. You will probably go back to your own country to apply your knowledge and skills there, so that the level of water management in your country will reach a higher level. The theme of the farewell party tonight is ''Flow like water, where will it lead you?'', you will flow away from Delft and go back home to your family and friends. I admire that you came to Delft and acquired the knowledge that you have learned. You are now on your way to a new step or career in your life.''
During the ceremony, there was a ‘surprise interlude’, where students performed a dance from Nepal. The first dance was called “JHYURE", and it comes from the western part of Nepal. It's a dance often performed by young boys and girls to express the joy of meeting their lovers. The rhythm and song start slowly but the pace speeds up. The second performance was of a well-known folk song. It uses traditional Nepali instruments mixed with western beats, giving the song a modern touch but keeping the traditional vibe intact.
You will always remember the time and people at IHE Delft
Prof.dr.ir. Hubert H.G. Savenije, Em. Professor of Hydrology at Delft University of Technology, Honorary Fellow of IHE Delft, addressed the students. ''IHE Delft offered me the opportunity to bring my knowledge to a higher level. I am quite sure that when you are ten years further on you will look back on your time at IHE Delft and realize that it helped you to make an additional step and opened the world to you. It will create a network of friends among you and this a unique opportunity. You will always remember the time and people at IHE Delft. IHE Delft has in my opinion three important qualities: It is the capacity building institute in the world; at IHE Delft you study your own environment/societal context, which is unique; you are now part of a unique network of people. I wish you a very fruitful career.''
Water does not have boundaries
The ceremony concluded with an address by student representatives, Ms Karelia Martinez Zambrana from Nicaragua and Mr Parth Kamath from India, who gave a passionate speech about their experience at IHE Delft. They took the audience through their study journey, with many new social and cultural experiences.
''We all experienced and realized at some point in our personal or professional life that water was an issue that should be addressed. IHE Delft became the venue where cultures collide, and water became the binding element.'', said Ms Karelia Martinez Zambrana.
"At IHE we have been challenged to look at water from different perspectives. Engineers struggling with social science, social scientists struggle with calculations. We have been challenged to see beyond our field of studies. We have learned that water does not have boundaries that we cannot find solutions alone, that cooperation and an interdisciplinary approach are required to face and overcome present and future water challenges." says Parth Kamath.
Professors, IHE Delft staff and guests walked back to the institute for goodbye drinks and a lively farewell party.