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47 ° Ordinary Graduation

I want to start my words by expressing my congratulations to each of you, graduates and graduates. These congratulations reflect my admiration for the effort made so far, and for the significant achievement they have achieved on this day. Of course, I also congratulate his relatives and associates, who have been part of that effort over the years. The graduation ceremony is held to give testimony to society that you have acquired the skills and attitudes necessary to successfully start a professional life, in the case of those who have not yet started to work, or to move to a new stage of working life, in the case of those who are already working.

The concrete evidence on the performance of INTEC graduates allows me to trust that each of you will have a bright and accomplished career. In this sense, let me share with you the results of a recent study, according to which of every 100 INTEC graduates, more than 90 are working, almost all consider that the knowledge acquired at INTEC was decisive for professional success, and the vast majority declare that they have a remuneration significantly above the average remuneration in their profession. Furthermore, it is a great pride to say that our graduates consistently state that if they had to start over, they would select INTEC as their university again.

By themselves, these figures would be enough to show the value of the diploma that you will receive in a short time, but let me complement them with the moving words that were pronounced by our most illustrious graduate, the Constitutional President of the Republic, Danilo Medina, during the visit that made to our campus a few months ago. His words are not wasted: "My wish - the President told us publicly - is that this country can have more universities like INTEC." Therefore, graduates and graduates, leave this act with the satisfaction of those who have fulfilled their duty and with the security of those who are prepared to take on challenges that for others would be frightening.

However, professional success is only part of the challenges that lie ahead. In a country like ours, burdened by immense inequalities, it is also important to ask ourselves in what other ways can you contribute to improve the living conditions of other Dominicans and other Dominicans, to build a better society. Let us remember that in our country, almost 40 out of every 100 households live in poverty, and that only 60 out of every 100 adolescents go to secondary school, and only 35 out of every 100 young people manage to enter universities. And let's remember that at this very moment, graduates and graduates, thousands of boys and girls have not yet tasted food today. What will you do for them? It is our hope that every INTEC graduate keeps in mind that being a graduate of a university of excellence is a privilege but it is also a call to take on the challenge of social contribution for the benefit of those less fortunate, and that as Cicero pointed out more than two years ago millennia, the foundation of the good life is above all good faith.

The Dominican reality also represents many challenges for INTEC as an institution. In this sense, a large group of inteciano academics is reflecting involved in a process of special importance, such as the discussion of the Pact for Education. The implementation of this Pact could imply the construction of more and better schools, better compliance with school hours, the incorporation of more and more trained teachers and, ultimately, the training of worthy and qualified citizens. For the same purposes, INTEC is contributing with the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology in the design of a set of excellence programs for the training of a new generation of teachers in the areas of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology , among other disciplines of importance for national development. At INTEC we firmly believe in the transformative power of education, we trust in its ability to help us find the true and authentic things, and we know that building a better country must be a collective effort of all.

An example of the power of education is the life of our guest speaker, whose profile I now have the pleasure of presenting to you. Dr. Holguín Veras graduated in Civil Engineering from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo in 1982, obtained a Master of Science from the Central University of Venezuela in 1984 and completed his doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996. Currently, he is the Director of the Center of Excellence at the Volvo Foundation for Research and Education for Sustainable Urban Cargo Systems and the Center for Infrastructure, Transportation and the Environment at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York State.

Dr. Holguín Veras' research is developed in the areas of freight transport systems modeling, transport economics, and humanitarian logistics. In his professional career, he has received numerous recognitions, including the Milton Pikarsky Award for the best doctoral thesis, the National Science Foundation Award of the United States for his contributions to the modeling of freight transport in relation to the economy and the Champion of Change Award in the Transportation line, which was awarded by the White House in the same year.

His research has led to major changes in transport policy and substantial improvements in urban freight transport systems. In particular, his work in humanitarian logistics has played a prominent role in response procedures to disasters, such as hurricanes or earthquakes. Currently, our guest speaker chairs the Scientific Committee of the Pan American Traffic Engineering Conferences and is a member of the Scientific Committee of the World Transportation Research Conference.

For all these merits, Dr. Holguín Veras is a source of pride for our country, and his words have a special value on this graduation day. I therefore ask that we welcome you with loud applause.