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Words of the Rector in the 63ra. Graduation Ceremony on November 20, 2021

Words of the Rector in the 63ra. Graduation Ceremony on November 20, 2021

Julio Sanchez Marinez
Santo Domingo, November 20, 2021

President and other members of the Board of Regents
Vice-Rectors, Deans and other members of the Academic Council
Directors and academic and administrative coordinators
Teachers and collaborators all
Special guests
Representatives of universities and other HEIs
Members of the media
Dear graduates and family
Friends all

Today we resume in person the most exquisite and satisfactory ceremony of all that we celebrate in university work: the graduation ceremony, today, of 1,012 new graduates who in a few minutes will be full graduates of this, his alma mater, who feels proud as are his relatives and friends. We celebrate this sixty-third graduation ceremony still subject to current health protocols and the restrictions that arise from them, but how pleasant it is to meet again in person, even with masks and relative distancing, on the occasion of this festival of the spirit.

Of our graduates in the academic areas of Social Sciences and Humanities, Basic and Environmental Sciences, Health Sciences, Engineering and Economics and Business, both at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, 605 (60%) are women, while 407 they are men; 162 (16% of the total) graduate with academic honors.

In this promotion, the first graduate in Dentistry graduates. Today we graduated nothing more and nothing less than the first 9 Cybersecurity engineers in the country, a very important contribution in this increasingly crucial area for the security, reliability and continuity of technology-based operations and intangible assets of all types of organizations and entities. With them and with this program, INTEC continues to demonstrate with facts its leadership position as an innovative, differentiated and pioneering university in the Dominican higher education system.

One last note, due to the enumeration, but not because of its importance: we also have 54 graduates of teacher training programs of excellence, in the degrees in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics oriented to Secondary Education, with 36 of them obtaining academic honors . I cannot fail to emphasize that in this group we are proud to have graduates from different communities, such as: Bajos de Haina, San Cristóbal, Azua, Neyba, Constanza, Yaguate, Salcedo, El Valle and Cabrera. This is a tangible example that INTEC is a home for many, provided they come with talent and dedication, and that our young people, from all social strata and from all parts of our beautiful country, dare and can as long as find the due opportunity. It only takes opportunities for our most talented young people to take up the challenge and make, with INTEC, their best decision.

I want to add now, very quickly, three topics that I cannot help but refer to.

The first of them is to highlight the resilient capacity that you, in and with INTEC, have shown throughout these almost two years in which we have been so severely shaken by this covid-19 pandemic. The ability to adapt and overcome adversity that the entire international hive has shown throughout these troubled times is worthy of recognition. For you, who continued to advance until graduation, it will be, at least, part of the anecdote that you will keep and tell your children and grandchildren. For you and for the entire INTEC community, the quote attributed to Henry Ford about what "Obstacles are those hideous things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. "

The second topic that I want to discuss is the assessment of what scientific and technological development and the competencies derived from it mean for humanity and, in it, for all of us. This terrible pandemic that still haunts us, with all the losses and all the pain that it has caused us, has been able to be handled in a radically different way from the last great pandemic that humanity remembers, that of the so-called Spanish flu from around 1918, which may have killed 25 million people in the first 25 weeks. It is estimated that this pandemic killed between 40 and 50 million people (most countries did not have a health service capable of collecting reliable data and many of the deaths were not counted).

Unable to generate treatments or a vaccine, only one therapeutic measure showed any success: the transfusion of blood from recovered patients to new victims; strategy that was retested in the first months of 2020 against the   COVID-19.

The irreparable 5 million human losses that we accumulate to the present do not compare with the figures of that pandemic, and we already have, in record times, several forms of vaccines that at least mitigate the threats of the virus and promise to be better vehicles of immunity and protection in the near future. I believe that this shows us in a forceful way the appreciation that we owe to scientific and technological developments, to the best professional practices and to the training and capacities that we have and we must continue cultivating and deepening. And, thus, to the emphasis that we give to this curricular component in all our degree programs, in all academic areas.

The third and last, is to warn that we are in the immediate prelude to the celebration, already next year, of the first fiftieth anniversary of INTEC, which is another show of resilience for a university without a political or factual power behind, non-profit and due only to the best interests of our society, or, better, non-state public, for its commitment to generate high quality public goods, relevance and pertinence. Always doing a lot with the not abundant resources at its disposal, reaching, as it has reached, 50 years of existence is an act of such significance as to be considered heroic. On the occasion of this milestone, we hope that each of our more than 35 thousand graduates, including them, reaffirm their ties with their Alma Mater, make them perennial, and participate with enthusiasm and pride in the entire commemorative program of our first 50 years. 

Now it is my pleasure to introduce our guest of honor, Mr. Christian Reyna Tejada.

Christian ands President of Fondo para el Desarrollo, Inc. (FONDESA), Banco de Ahorro y Crédito FONDESA (BANFONDESA), and vice president of the Board of Directors of the Fund for the Financing of Microenterprises (FONDOMICRO). He is an Agronomist with a concentration in Agro-Business Administration from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), with postgraduate degrees in Economics from the Economics Institute of the University of Colorado - thanks to the Robert Rogers scholarship awarded for academic merit, and in International Trade , from the World Trade Institute, in New York, both from the United States. He was also a Fullbright Distinguished Fellow in his studies for an MBA in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and Finance, from the University of Maryland.

In his work experience, his civic career and his accumulated youth, he has served as Administrative and Financial Manager of the Center for Rural Administration and Development (CADER) of the Higher Institute of Agriculture (ISA); Marketing Director of Envases Antillanos, C por A .; General Manager of Troquelados Dominicanos, Tapadom and Plastidom; Administrative and Financial Vice President of Grupo M, Industrial Free Zone of Santiago and as a business consultant 2002-2015.

Similarly, he was President of the Board of Directors of the ISA University; second vice president of the Association of Industrialists of the North Region; member of the Board of Directors of the Santiago Chamber of Commerce and Production and of Grupo BHD and Banco BHD; the Cibao Savings and Loans Association; of the Association for the Development of Santiago APEDI, among others. Since 2016 he has been a partner of the Santiago Free Zone Corporation, and since 2012 he is a member of the Dominican Microfinance Network (REDOMIF).

At the time, Cristian also squeezed his time to become a professor, research assistant and Director of the Department of Agribusiness Administration at ISA and as a professor of Marketing and Finance at PUCMM.

And it is that, along with all his civic, business and professional activity, Cristian has always remained a standard bearer of quality education and opportunities for youth throughout the Dominican Republic.

Currently, over and above his multiple occupations, Cristian accompanies us at INTEC as a member of the Rectory Business Advisory Committee together with Luis Molina Acechar, Manuel Alejandro Gullón, Yandra Portela, Steven Puig and Mario Dávalos.

By handing over this podium to our prestigious and beloved guest of honor speaker, I want to do so with a few final words inviting our graduates to look at the future that is already opening up to them today as professionals. They have overcome challenges and challenges, but they have even more ahead of them. I trust that they do so with the seal of intecianos and, thus, committed to the social transformation of the country, to the continuous promotion of the quality of life of its inhabitants and to the preservation and development of its moral and material heritage, for the enjoyment of yourselves and to bequeath it improved to the next generations to come. The challenges that our country faces, and with you, are much greater and subject to much greater uncertainty than those of the stage that has just ended. 

It is about building a new and better society, with true institutions and a better quality of life for all of us who have the right to seek our happiness in it. But… how good !, because as the archetypal Brazilian archbishop, Dom Hélder Câmara, said: “It must be terrible to arrive too late in a world already finished.” Go ahead, then, upholding the recommendation repeated by Steve Jobs in his memorable guest address at the 2005 Stanford University graduation: “Keep looking. Don't settle ”,“ Keep looking. Do not be satisfied "

Congratulations graduating, to each of you and to your family and friends!