Communal leader Mark Leibler served as presiding chancellor at his own grandchildren’s graduation ceremony at Melbourne University last month.
The ceremony celebrated the academic milestones of recent university graduates.
“One of the central aspirations of the University of Melbourne is to provide outstanding education to encourage, inspire and enable the next generation of leaders, professionals and thinkers to have a positive impact on the world we live in,” Leibler said in his address.
Two of Leibler’s grandchildren were present at the ceremony – Joshua Max, who completed a Bachelor of Arts degree, and Michelle Swersky, who completed a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honours.
“With two of my grandchildren among today’s graduates, I speak from first-hand experience in saying that the determination and sheer grit you have shown in getting here is truly remarkable and deeply impressive,” he said.
“And I have a strong sense that what you have achieved in trying circumstances will have equipped you with the resilience to navigate all manner of adversities that may arise in the future.”
Leibler also acknowledged the diversity of the graduating class, which included 77 different nationalities.
“One of the fundamental roles of a university is to reflect and enrich the accumulated wisdom and aspirations of the communities we serve.”
He encouraged students to be “active alumni” and to nurture “a lifelong relationship with your peers and the wider university community”.
“We strive to make a difference and extend the canon of knowledge for the better of humankind. You have benefited from these endeavours and now carry the responsibility and the privilege of giving back to your own communities, in Australia and beyond,” he added.
“I offer you my heartfelt congratulations, and sincere best wishes for the future.”