May 18, 2013 – President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskatiė asked the graduates of the Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) to embrace challenges and responsibility going forward in their careers during today’s commencement ceremony.
“Do not shy away from challenges that will come your way in your life,” said Grybauskatiė, who was awarded a Doctor of Human Letters, honoris causa. “They are the wave you have to ride in order to not fall behind. Yes, it demands courage and strength, but it brings satisfaction and joyful moments that you could do it.”
The School of Foreign Service graduated 404 students in 2013, including those who graduated from the School of Foreign Service campus in Qatar.
Grybauskatiė, who attended Georgetown in 1992 as an economics fellow, touched on how Lithuania’s economy flourished in recent years after a series of economic policies and budgets were enacted in the former Soviet republic that balanced economic growth with austerity.
She said calculated risk-taking that make a positive impact, such as Lithuania’s bold economic plan, are maneuvers worth pursuing even if the risk fails.
“You need to have courage and responsibility to make a difference, no matter how hard, especially in politics, or unpopular they are,” Grybauskatiė said. “You can correct mistakes, what you cannot correct is missed opportunities in your life."
Graduates from SFS cherished their time studying and living at Georgetown.
“I will miss Georgetown's Catholic and Jesuit identity more than anything next year,” said Samuel Dulik (SFS’13), a regional and comparative studies major with a focus on Latin America. “That extends not only to the phenomenal Jesuit community on campus, but also to the vibrant and diverse student communities of faith, and the spirit of service and justice that pervades our university at all levels.”
Dulik, who will join Deloitte’s federal consulting practice as a strategy and operations analyst, said his experience at Georgetown enlightened him about existing global issues.
“My college experience heightened my sensitivity towards the brokenness of our world,” he said. “And instilled in me a fierce desire to devote my life to making this world a more just and gentle place.”