‘Making the world a better place’: UOG Fanuchånan 2022 graduates receive diplomas
Close to 250 graduates received their diplomas on Dec. 18 at the University of Guam Calvo Field House during the Fanuchånan 2022 commencement.
Dr. Joleen Aguon, a daughter of Guam, and UOG alumna, gave the commencement speech. She hoped to inspire the new graduates about her journey – from powering through late nights to complete her Bachelor of Science degree in biology at UOG, completing her Doctor of Medicine at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu, and ultimately coming home to Guam.
Aguon is the associate administrator of Clinical Services and assistant associate administrator of Medical Services at Guam Memorial Hospital. She is a familiar face and voice among health care front liners in the fight against COVID.
The road to becoming a physician was difficult, Aguon said, but she did not give up: “I held on, I cried, I dug deep and with the support of my family and friends, I kept going.”
“Do not set limits for yourself or you will never know your full potential ... Impossible will exist if you do not make an effort,” Aguon said to the graduating class.
Valedictorian Cherissa Christina Ollet Adonay now holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
“Teachers are more than just ‘glorified babysitters,’” she said. “We are the people who set the fundamental foundations for the future generations to come. So, I’d like to ask you all to take a moment and think about all the teachers who made a significant impact on your life. And thank them because without teachers, you wouldn’t be sitting where you are today without us.”
Before the graduation ceremony, Adonay said she is grateful for how her parents, Cristina Ollet and Wilfredo Adonay, immigrants from the Philippines, raised her with the values of hard work and resiliency, and to focus on her education.
She urged her fellow graduates to “make the most out of every day and be present and in the moment.”
“We’ve spent this year appreciating the accomplishments of the students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and community supporters of our institution over seven decades,” President Thomas W. Krise said.
“And today’s ceremony focuses our attention on why this institution exists: to produce superb graduates who go on to make our island, our region, our country, and our world better places to live,” Krise said.
“On behalf of all of the employees of UOG, I thank our graduates for learning with us, for challenging us to think in new and different ways, and for your commitment to making the world a better place for all of us and for those who come after us.”
Luis R. Baza, former chairman of Civil Service Commission board, and a deputy director at the Port Authority of Guam, received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Watch the recording of the commencement at: www.facebook.com/UniversityofGuam.