On Sunday, May 21st, 2017, Franklin University Switzerland celebrated its 47th Commencement Ceremony at Lugano’s lakeside Palazzo dei Congressi. The ceremony saw 87 students from all across the globe receiving a Bachelor's or Master's degree.

Highlights from Graduation 2017

This year the University has been honored to welcome as its 2017 Keynote Speaker Professor Selwa A. F. Al-Hazzaa, MD; FRCS (Ophth), a Saudi Ophthalmologist at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Chairman/Professor of the Ophthalmology Department (1997). Regarded as one of the most influential personalities in Saudi Arabia, and the Arab world in general, Dr. Al-Hazzaa is also considered a pioneer for Saudi women. She is renowned for being one of the first Saudi women to achieve international success academically, professionally and politically.

During the ceremony, President Greg Warden awarded Dr. Al-Hazzaa an Honorary Degree. The Ursula Gentile Lowerre Award for Outstanding Service was conferred to Mr. Thomas J. Gould in recognition of his long standing support for Franklin in both action and gift. From 1968 to 1970, Mr. Gould attended what was then called Fleming College and returned to Franklin as a member of staff from 1974 to 1975.
View pictures from the ceremony on Facebook.

Commencement Address
The Commencement speech was given by Professor Selwa A. F. Al-Hazzaa, MD; FRCS (Ophth). In her inspiring address to the Class of 2017, Dr. Al-Hazzaa invited the new graduates to “pursue your dreams. Make them a reality. Your education and your skills you have acquired from your dedicated Faculty can never be taken away from you. You own it. Cherish it. Never compromise your integrity.”

Full Graduation 2017 Ceremony

Valedictorian Speech
This year’s Valedictorian was Holly Stokes, from Washington, DC, USA, who majored in International Banking and Finance and International Economics with an emphasis in Political Economy. In her speech, Stokes invited the Class of 2017 to think about what has Franklin done for all of them, besides the ‘easy answer’: educating them. “While there is so much more for us to learn about the world, I do believe that Franklin has helped change the kind of people we are – transforming us into more self-aware and open-minded individuals. So I ask that we think of this graduation not as the end of an era, but rather as a celebration of what we have built and what the future holds. Because no matter where we go we will always be Franklin, Class of 2017.”

The Graduate Student Representative’s Address was delivered by Brandon Berdecia ‘16, from Centereach, New York, USA, who received his International Management Master’s Degree. As he noted, just by looking at all of his classmates, he could clearly see “the immensely positive impact that Franklin has had on every one of us and the boundless and limitless determination that it has instilled. I know that Franklin has duly prepared us all with the ability to get out there and cross every bridge that stands between us and our futures.”