In August 2019, twenty individuals from nineteen countries around the world came together in Seoul, South Korea to participate in the 7th batch of the Dream Together Master (DTM) program at the prestigious Seoul National University. And just like that, amidst the swift spread of the pandemic across the world, these twenty individuals graduated from the said program in a simple online ceremony last December 18, 2020.
With the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Seoul, a physical ceremony was not possible. However, the DTM staff rose to the occasion and provided memorable graduation for the students, lining up touching words from fellow students, the faculty, and key administrators. All of this was streamed online via the YouTube channel of the program, allowing not just the students to stay tuned, but also their families and friends who, in one way or another, were part of their journey.
The ceremony began by reminding the batch of their experiences in the last sixteen months through a tribute video. Professor Joon-ho Kang, director of DTM, then gave his congratulatory words which truly inspired the 7th batch graduates. He ended his address by saying: “DTM class of 2021, congratulations once again, and although we cannot be together, we can still dream together. I wish you all the best.” These words really touched the hearts of the graduates.
Professor Yongho Lee, associate director of DTM, Professor Wook Song, dean of the physical education department, and Mr. Jangsoo Oh, director of the sports promotion business office at the Korea Sports Promotion Foundation (KSPO) also gave a few words of congratulations.
What followed after these speeches certainly made any viewer teary-eyed as each of the 7th batch graduates were featured along with a few scenes from their graduation photoshoot. This segment brought upon warm feelings of gratitude and mutual love among the graduates.
The ceremony also featured the three best thesis awardees of the batch – Ms. Maria Fernanda Delgado del Rio of Mexico, Ms. Maria Mohammad Barakat of Jordan, and Mr. Razif Bin Sazali of Malaysia. This was followed by a farewell address from the graduates themselves. Mr. Amjed Mustafa of Sudan, the batch president, and Ms. Delgado del Rio, the batch valedictorian, shared their words of gratitude and hope.
Finally, the DTM staff did not forget to include congratulatory remarks from some of the memorable faculty members of the program like Professor Bettina Cornwell, Professor Borja Garcia, and Professor Lisa Hindson who come from different parts of the world. The ceremony ended with more words from fellow DTM students and a montage of more videos and photos of the graduates.
It was a very unique and challenging experience having to study in the time of COVID-19 but they all did it. Congratulations to the 7th batch of DTM for their well-deserved success!
Edited by Aldo Tong.