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Words from the Rector at the 2023 Outstanding Graduate Award recognition ceremony

Dear members of our General Assembly, Board of Regents and Academic Council, collegiate bodies of highest leadership of our university, whom I greet in the persons of Dr. Jose Joaquín Puello, one of our founders, of José Manuel Santos, graduate and president of our Board of Regents and our vice chancellors for academic, administration and finance, and research and outreach.

Gentlemen special guests

Representatives of sister institutions of higher education.

Dear business executives and civil society organizations that accompany us.

Colleagues from the INTEC institutional community, teachers and collaborators all.

Members of the media.

Very especially, dear Outstanding Graduates whom we recognize today, in the company of their relatives and associates.

Girlfriends and friends all.

I would like to start by turning to one of my favorite poets, Benedetti, and his collection of poems “Goodbyes and Welcomes”, and think like him that there are many types of night, but that there are some that become miraculous and, then, say his verse: “they are inherited from clear skies, my eyes open in amazement and I can't think of anything else."

Tonight, when it doesn't matter how it is outside and whether we are indoors, is a night of clear skies, in which we recognize graduates from 4 of our 5 Academic Areas: Engineering, Health Sciences, Economics and Business and, for the first time, as we anticipated two years ago, to a graduate from the Area of ​​Basic and Environmental Sciences. On that occasion, when saying that I had no doubt that we would soon have outstanding graduates from our own programs in Basic and Environmental Sciences, I commented - and I cannot resist repeating it today - the unusual thing, at least in higher education in Latin America and the Caribbean, of a private university displaying a strong presence in the field of basic sciences; In our region, the strengths in this area are generally assumed by state universities, not only because of their strategic relevance, but also because of the considerable investments they require in laboratories, equipment and projects, in addition to academic talent. This sustained commitment of INTEC in hosting, cultivating and sustaining a significant academic area of ​​basic and environmental sciences demonstrates with facts the firm commitment of our university to the scientific and technological development of our society, a development for which, throughout our fifty and one year, we have made indispensable, irreplaceable and, in many cases, singular and unique contributions. I find here another argument to maintain that INTEC is more than private, non-profit, public, although not state, dedicated to the general interest, not to any particular interest, generating public goods that we contribute to society directly through the research, support for innovation and service, or through our graduates as responsible citizens and competent, creative, innovative and entrepreneurial professionals, in the country and internationally.

We honored 2 ladies and 5 gentlemen, which continues the progress in the latest recognitions of Outstanding Alumni in terms of female participation, especially if we compare it with the first editions of this award. I find it interesting that our two new outstanding graduates, like the ones we recognized in the last edition, in 2021, are engineers. Certainly, these recognitions for outstanding female engineers had already been occurring since 2016, but now, in the last two editions, it is twice.

If we stick to the degree graduation date (because two of our awardees repeated INTEC for their postgraduate studies), our outstanding graduates tonight represent 4 of the 5 decades that our history has already accumulated: 1987 and 1989, 1994, 2003, and 2012 and 2015.

Our graduates continue to use the world as their stage, for their professional practice and life choices. Today we are graced by two outstanding graduates who return to their Alma Mater from Washington, DC or from Texas and, despite the time difference, I do not doubt that another one is following us from a distance who has moved to 2 from his workplace in Bogotá kilometers from London, to Oxford, for his doctoral studies.

Two of our new outstanding graduates are active professors at the Institute, both also outstanding in teaching, and a third was for a long time and we are recapturing him as a distance professor from his residence in Texas.

This is INTEC, intense, plural and diverse. As an example, only in our last graduation ceremony, last October, we showed society how we graduated new professionals from all regions of the country, practically from all its provinces, because more than 30 percent of them come from outside the country. great Santo Domingo, and 5 percent from 13 nationalities other than the Dominican, of all the graduates 50 percent at the undergraduate level and the other half at the postgraduate level, 60 percent women and 40 percent men.

There is only one limit that we want to maintain in our inclusivity and diversity, and that is the moral, ethical, and values, which are verified in an upright professional practice and citizen behavior that is not only responsible, but also generous, if not altruistic. . In this we aspire to be coherent and compact.

Tonight, as in the other 14 previous nights of this recognition of Outstanding Graduates that we have celebrated since 2007, we are proud to have you, the 7 winners for your professional and human merits. We feel not only proud, but confident that we hold them up as worthy Intecians to emulate. In general, you have already deserved previous recognitions to which this one is added, perhaps more loaded with historical emotion, coming from your Alma Mater, in which in much earlier stages of your lives you cultivated not only your training, but your youthful dreams.

Despite its merits, it was a difficult decision. Those of us who serve as a jury, with the restriction of that magical number, of almost arcane origin, of only 7 chosen for each edition of this recognition, know that it was very difficult to limit ourselves to that number, with so many brilliant postulates, successful as well as promising, professional citizens in the different areas of productive and social activity, in the country and in many other latitudes. From the jury, the renowned journalist and television producer Alicia Ortega, the most external to INTEC among the commissioners - who we would like to feel and feel more like internal to our hive - serves as a witness, whom I now take the opportunity to publicly thank for He gave us his time and his interventions in the pleasant, although demanding task that we share.

This difficulty in limiting ourselves to only seven, with many others with proven merits, is also another source of joy, which, as a member of the jury, I was able to experience directly that day of the session and that now, as testimony, for which I have no doubt that I have the consent of its other members, we want to convey to this audience, so that in some way they also rejoice in having among the almost 38 thousand INTEC graduates so much to choose from when it comes to recognition. 

That and no other is the main measure of the success and value of INTEC, of ​​this university that emerged 51 years ago as if from nothing, as the Bible says that God created the universe, but in our case by the work and grace of our founders, whom I referred to on another occasion as a group of earthly demiurges, moved by a daring fueled by civic heroism. Last year we celebrated the first fiftieth anniversary of this vibrant reality that is today INTEC. We did so assuming that we had a legacy that inspires and moves us into the future. And already this year we almost exhausted the first of our next fifty years, now telling ourselves that we forge a future today, here and now and in the years to come. And I add that this slogan has four letters f, because it is forging the future with fast forward, which INTEC has the rapid advance seal.

So that this task of forging the future is with fast forward There are many improvements, learnings and innovations that lie ahead. One of them, of singular importance, is to better support ourselves in that legion of more than 37 thousand graduates for whom we have to facilitate their continuous connection with their Alma Mater, their monitoring and participation in institutional life, their active support for their development. Looking at and addressing all the directors, professors and collaborators now, I tell you that, if we do not all assume as one, as a daily task, that of promoting and facilitating the continuity of the connection of our graduates with their university, we would be losing a golden opportunity. in our mission to strengthen and enhance the development and sustainability of this institution in so many unique and indispensable ways for our country. That is my call, which I accompany with a proposal for the next 2024 that is approaching us, that among other initiatives aimed at the purpose already stated, we celebrate a meeting of all the 102 outstanding graduates, hybrid in its modality, but intimate in its nature. And may that be a special and summit moment in what should be a regular and continuous activity of all of us, I repeat, that of facilitating the connection and involvement of all our graduates with their Alma Mater. Do we accept the challenge?

A while ago I spoke about morals, ethics and values, thinking about the Intecians. I want to end with a wish, a fervent one, this time borrowing from another author among my favorites, more philosopher than poet, and wish all of us Intecians, those present here, those now absent, and those who are in progress, that We can always stand out as internationally competent professionals, but also and above all for an ethic that Fernando Savater summarizes in three virtues: courage to live, generosity to live together and prudence to survive,

Congratulations dear outstanding graduates!

Good night with clear skies!