Sen. Gerald Dial, president pro-tem of the Troy Board of Trustees, encouraged newly minted graduates in Vietnam to put what they had learned to use in order to make a difference within their communities.
Dial, who has been a member of TROY’s Board of Trustees for nearly 30 years, traveled last week to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) with Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr., Dr. Earl Ingram, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and other University officials to award degrees at three commencement ceremonies.
“You join an elite group, as less than 5 percent of Vietnamese citizens hold the bachelor’s degree,” Dial said. “I read a Vietnamese proverb that says, ‘A day of traveling will bring a basketful of learning.’ You have traveled a long road to earn your diploma. Each of you has a basketful of learning. The question is: What will you do with your basket?’
Dial encouraged graduates to be leaders within their communities, to encourage others to follow in their footsteps and to become life-long learners.
“You are prepared to achieve success in your chosen field,” he said. “You are prepared for leadership. You are prepared to make a difference. I wish you the best as you start your new lives today.”
Troy University began offering courses in Vietnam in 2004. The first students graduated in 2008, making TROY the first U.S. university to award the baccalaureate degree in Vietnam. There are over 1,000 TROY graduates in Vietnam, including many rising leaders in business, government, military and education.
International partnerships like those in Vietnam have helped transform TROY into Alabama’s International University, Dr. Hawkins said.
“We are proud of our relationships in Vietnam and we are proud that TROY was the first American university to award the baccalaureate degree here,” Dr. Hawkins said. “Troy University serves students from over 76 different nations, including 80 students from Vietnam who began their study here before transferring to Troy. Your University is committed to making its graduates globally competitive and globally aware. Our graduates understand and appreciate cultures different from their own.”
TROY officials awarded 27 degrees on Oct. 28 during commencement ceremonies at the University of Economics & Business, Vietnam National University in Hanoi; 24 bachelor’s degrees at Hanoi University of Science and Technology on Oct. 30; and, 16 bachelor’s degrees at Saigon Technology University on Nov. 1.