The larger venue provided an opportunity for more friends and family to celebrate the 31 graduates of the BA in French Studies, BA in French Studies with History and the MA in Paris Studies: History and Culture. They were cheered on by academic and senior staff from the Institute and the University, including Professor Sir Adrian Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of London and Dr Tim Gore, CEO of ULIP.
We are delighted to welcome its newest honorary graduate, Elaine Sciolino.
Dr Sciolino’s celebrated career includes significant time as a Paris correspondent and later Rome Bureau Chief for Newsweek magazine, a stint as the Paris bureau chief for The New York Times, where she continues to serve as a contributing writer. She is the author of numerous award-winning and best-selling books, as well as the recipient of several awards, including the Distinguished Public Service Award and the Excellence in Journalism Award. Notable in this, the year of the University’s Leading Women campaign, she became the first female Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the first female chief diplomatic correspondent for the New York Times.
Not least, she was decorated a chevalier of the Légion d'honneur, the highest honour of the French state, for her ‘special contribution’ to the friendship between France and the United States.
Responding to her honorary degree with a dynamic and inspiring speech, Dr Sciolino shared three of her life lessons with the ULIP graduates:
Lesson 1: Show-up” – encouraging them to be bold, “Lesson 2: Have a dream but have a skill” – including video editing, if possible and “Lesson 3: Life is not a straight line, it is a jazz improvisation. Being flexible is particularly important today. Not every door may open when you want it to. So if you are just fixating on one goal you may miss out on possibilities that you didn’t know were there. Improvisation, I would argue, prepare you for the setbacks, banish the fear, embrace the unexpected and shift course” – motivating them to take advantage of all the opportunities that come their way.
Dr Sciolino ended her speech with, “The pursuit of excellence in life is crucial but it has to be twined with ‘joie de vivre’, otherwise you may miss out. Strategising and goal setting are essential as long as there is a fall back. Failure is an option and fuels compassion. […] So Class of 2018, dream your dream but have more than one dream. Dream deep, but dream broad. Congratulations and bon courage!”
Dr Mary Stiasny, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) and Chief Executive of University of London Worldwide, closed the ceremony with remarks on our Leading Women campaign. Dr Stiasny shared her vision for the future, as
one in which women all over the world are recognised and rewarded for their contribution, and, in fact, work as equals alongside men to enrich our global workplaces.