Message from the President

2022-02-10 715

Dear prospective graduates,

I write today to deliver disappointing news to 767 prospective graduates who are ready to step into the world after completing years of study at POSTECH.

Due to the continual spread of COVID-19 and the omicron variant outbreak, the long-awaited commencement ceremony for the 2021 academic year has been postponed to spring, similar to last year’s event. Until fall 2021, POSTECH had plans to increase in-person activities as the country transited into the ‘With Corona’ phase, but due to the emergence of the omicron variant, the commencement ceremony cannot be held as planned. I ask for your kind understanding on this matter.

The administration is again working with the relevant teams to share a sense of accomplishment and celebration for those graduates who will leave the campus in February and those who will attend the postponed commencement ceremony.

Gowns will be available for rental and fun photo zones will be set up throughout campus for a week beginning on February 4. We will do our best to create memorable experiences for the remainder of your time on campus that can be shared with professors, friends, and students. I encourage you to visit the locations at your convenience.

The word commencement has the dictionary definition of a beginning or a start. Graduation not only signifies finishing an academic program but also leaving the life of a student and embarking on a new journey. POSTECH also welcomes new students and a new school year with graduation, so it is a beginning for the graduates, the university, and its members.

It can also be said that the commencement ceremony is more meaningful than any other school event since it is where we affirm the achievements of the graduates, the university, and its members, and start afresh. However, postponing such ceremony is to ensure the health and safety of our community, which has been the overriding priority of POSTECH for the past year.

POSTECH has remained relatively safe for the past two years – except a few confirmed cases – despite our unique environment where members closely interact on campus. This was possible thanks to the university adhering to a set of principles and the trust and cooperation from its members. For this reason, it is the decision of the university that no matter how important an event is, we cannot host it if it violates that principle.

However, this decision was by no means an easy one. Since it is POSTECH’s priority to ensure the safety of all members and their families, we had to make the decision for those who would travel to Pohang for the ceremony. Once again, we respectfully ask for your understanding.

Though we could not have all graduates attend the commencement ceremony held last May, it was great seeing them surrounded by their loved ones with happy smiles on their faces in the spring warmth. If more people can safely gather on campus for the ceremony in the coming spring, I would not wish for more.

Dear honored graduates,

I shall put aside my words of encouragement for you until spring. We will also figure out a way to relay my message to those graduates who are unable to attend the ceremony in-person.

Instead of the bitter winds, a gentle breeze and blooming flowers will welcome the graduates and their loved ones in May as they celebrate the joys of graduation and dream of a bright future together. In the meanwhile, POSTECH will be hard at work to prepare for the ceremony to be enjoyed by all in safety.

I bid you all good health until we reunite on campus and wish you the best on your new journey in the world.

January 19, 2022

Moo Hwan Kim