Foundation students at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) celebrated the end of another step in their academic lives yesterday.
More than 500 graduates received certificates in front of parents, families and friends who came to witness the special celebration.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Public Enterprises, Elita To’oala, congratulated the graduates as the guest speaker.
“You don’t need me to tell you that you are about to enter a world of great challenges and more than little uncertainty,” she said.
“The presence of challenge for each of you lies in what you make of the opportunity that comes with the certificate you receive today.
“Starting from today you will be faced with choices, big choices, but importantly the choices you will make will shape what you will become. You are all destined to be leaders of your respective chosen profession, good and effective leaders.”
She shared with the graduates three important lessons of leadership. These are: Listen, Inspire and Work.
“It’s okay to admit what you don’t know, it’s okay to ask for help and it’s more okay to listen to the people around you in fact it’s essential,” she said.
“It’s important to surround yourself with people who will challenge you and tell you where and why you are wrong.”
She encouraged them that great leaders work harder.
“Today, confirms that you have talent and that’s great,” said Ms. To’oala. “However, if you truly want to “change the world,” you need more than talent. You really need to do the work because hard work beats talent, if talent doesn’t work hard. No one has ever died from studying too hard.
“Your parents and some of us grew up in the era of fewer opportunities. We did not have many advantages but we believed in success, we believed in a brighter future, a positive outcome if we work hard and yes, we worked hard to achieve it.
“I was taught by my parents that there is no substitute for hard work and that work comes before play.
“Your education will open doors. Your talent will open worlds. But it is your hard work that will enable you to accomplish more than you ever imagined.
“Each of you is remarkably capable.
“My question to you… is how will you define success?
“Will you inspire others to do great things?
“Will you build a foundation that allows future generations to reach even higher?
“In short, will you leave the world better than you found it?
“I, and so many others, are counting on you.”
• Faith Manuleleua - Late Hon. Lauofo Meti Memorial Award for Top Foundation Arts Student.
• Mercy Tausili – SSAB Trophy for Top Foundation Accounting Student
• Jessica Fau – Central Bank of Samoa’s Trophy for Top Foundation Economics Student.
• Sonya Lagisi & Faith Manuleleua – World Bank Group Trophy for Top Equal Foundation Management Students.
• Valentina Rimari Fepulea’i – Digicel Co. Limited’s Trophy for Top Foundation Marketing Student.
• Valentina Rimari Fepulea’i & Taputū Susan Palemia Reupena – Mata’afā Dr. Desmond Amosa’s Prize Award & Cash Prize for Top Equal Foundation Law Students.
• Elisha Terinaite Aiafi & Mercy Tausili – Betham & Co. Ltd Trophy for Top equal Foundation Commerce Students.
• Thor Peters – A’eau Chris Hazelman’s Trophy for Top Foundation Education Student & Faculty of Education’s Trophy for Top Foundation Education Student.
• Tirani Joan Taleni – SSAB’s Trophy & $200 Voucher for Top Foundation Biology Student.
• Tame Fa’aafu Kelly Yoshida - BSL Trophy & $200 Voucher for Top Foundation Technology Student.
• Saouila Melissa Tolovaa – BSL Trophy & $200 Voucher for Top Foundation Physics Student.
• Lute Tamalii Mundia – Misa Telefoni Retzlaff’s Trophy & Cash Prize Award for Top Student Overall – Foundation Programme, SROS Trophy Award for Top Overall Foundation Science Student, Late Fuimaono Folomalo Toelupe’s Memorial Trophy for Top Foundation Mathematics Student and SSAB Trophy & $200 Voucher for Top Foundation Chemistry Student Patrick Buckley Memorial Prize for Top Foundation Chemistry.