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Valedictory Speech by Edwin Amponsah at the 53rd Graduation Ceremony, 2019

Edwin Amponsah

Edwin Amponsah, 2019 Overall Best Graduating Student of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

The Chairman and Members of Council, Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Registrar, Provost of the College of Science and other Provosts present, College Registrar, Deans, Heads of Departments, Members of Convocation, Special Invited Guest, Senior Members, Senior and Junior Staff, Dear Parents, Amazing Graduands, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am Edwin Amponsah, a Mastercard Scholar, and with me is a young Mathematician- Miss Priscilla Ama Yinzima. I am deeply honoured and thankful to deliver this valedictory speech at this graceful ceremony on behalf of my colleagues.  At this moment, we celebrate the successful end of a phase in our lives-the enervating lectures, the difficult exams and the long solitary hours at the library-and mark the beginning of a new chapter. Today, we celebrate! Congratulations, Class of 2019! Ayekoo! I also want to specially congratulate Priscilla for her achievement. It is a no mean feat.

On behalf of my colleagues, I would like to thank individuals who have helped us to be here today. First, we are grateful to the Almighty God for His grace and favour in our lives. To our parents and families, we extend our never-ending gratitude for your ceaseless and passionate support, love and encouragement. To our distinguished lecturers, we are most grateful for the knowledge you have passed to us, for your constant encouragement at the moment where we needed it most and for making our sojourn in this great institution a truly memorable one. Also, my profound appreciation goes to the Mastercard Foundation for their generosity, investment and commitment to improving the lives of young people. Their investment in my education and that of many others have truly been life changing. No one succeeds without the help of others. I would be always grateful to my parents. I appreciate my mentor Mr. Essuman (My headmaster at JHS and he is with me here today). I also appreciate my lecturers-Mr. V.K Dedu (I know most of us will fondly remember him and his stories about dimensions), Dr Ayekple (whom we all affectionately refer to as Jeg), Dr Derick Owusu Asamoah (We will dearly miss his valuable life stories) and all other lecturers in the Premier and Preferred College of Science. I cannot forget my colleagues and friends-Opanyin Seth, J Maarouf, Lydia, the entire 2019 Actuarial Science Class, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars and Secretariat at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). I am very grateful.

Our past years of stay on this beautiful campus have not been without its moments. Most of us vividly remember our first day here, the first lecture and the first friends we made here. Most of us still reflect on how we passed that very difficult course and wonder at the little genius inside us. We have made lifetime friends and partners. We have seen ourselves evolve into great thinkers, entrepreneurs, leaders, and social workers.  We have surmounted several difficulties-however, we sometimes failed, some of us lost loved ones and others went through very difficult situations. All these experiences have remarkably shaped, transformed, and prepared us to face the world we are entering as graduates. Today, we bid farewell to this beautiful campus, tremendous lecturers and administrators, and awesome friends we have made here. Though our faces are full of smiles, our hearts are heavy with the sense of departure. However, we are strengthened by the common purpose, heritage, and ideals that we share-which will forever bind and connect us. This outgoing phase of our lives is but a prologue to a new chapter for us to write our stories, impact our communities, empower people and finally execute the plan we have set aside for so long.

We mark this transition with this joyous occasion aware of the challenges that lie in the journey ahead. Let us be reminded that this prestigious university, KNUST has adequately prepared us to face this new task -to achieve greatness and do exploits. As students, we experienced the temptation to postpone our ideas to a later time. We cannot count the number of times we said we will do that one thing after school. Now is the time. The plan to take that course, start that business, create that foundation, and maybe speak to that lady or gentleman-eventually. Let us act now. Let us take these great ideas a piece at a time and bring them to fruition. The need to assiduously work on our plans can be captured in the words of Abraham Lincoln as, "Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle".

As we enter this phase of our lives as new graduates, let us make our deeds herald to the world that there is a fresh crop of intellectuals, leaders, young people who long after they are gone would have their works enshrined in the footprints of time.

So, graduating class of 2019-Let us do it now.

Once again, Congratulations. We did it!

God bless KNUST. God bless us all!

Thank you.