Please note: Speeches appear in the language in which they were delivered.
Madame le Chancelier, Monsieur le Recteur, Monsieur le doyen, members of the platform party, honoured guests, graduants, parents, family & friends …. I am honoured to join you on this very special day.
En tout premier lieu, je voudrais féliciter tous les diplômés de la Faculté de génie...et vous souhaiter tout le succès possible dans votre carrière professionnelle dans les années à venir. Mon implication de quelques années avec l'Université m'a permis de constater que nous avons, ici à Ottawa, une ressource exceptionnelle en vue d'une formation de tout premier ordre et garante d'excellence. Cela est vrai en génie et aussi à tous les niveaux d'enseignement de l'Université.
It is indeed an honor to receive an Honorary Doctorate, especially in the City where I and my family reside and where the origins of my professional and scientific life began.
How much, indeed, the world has changed since the early ‘70’s following my graduation and my arrival in Ottawa.
Today the adoption of the Internet and that of the corresponding technological innovation in telecommunications has literally touched the lives of everyone in the audience.
The Broadband revolution, which my colleagues have pioneered here in this City, has so much contributed towards leveling the world’s playing field – or, as stated in a recent book by a Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, Thomas Friedman …The World Is Flat.
To paraphrase Friedman, a flat world is an accessible world … much reduced in apparent physical size where one’s opportunities and abilities to participate in all aspects of one’s life are greatly enhanced and equalized.
Knowledge, dissemination and the exploitation of the same suddenly are, and will continue to be, on the same footing in all corners of the world through the use of the Internet and that of the Broadband Revolution. The Internet is, indeed, a great equalizer. Anybody surfing the Net can find, send, or receive any information … anywhere … anytime … and instantly. Opportunities are available to all … waiting to
A current and ongoing debate is a means of how to exploit the changes brought about by the Broadband Revolution for the long term benefit of our society.
You, graduants, as you enter into the “flat world” will share in the ultimate responsibility to define and lead the path towards that benefit for generations to come. The education received here at the University has given you a broad set of skills and talents to deal with all that is ahead of you. What an exciting challenge!
While on this journey full of challenges, may I bring forth a book by Antoine de Saint Exupery … entitled “The Little Prince” … a book full of magic, joy, and wisdom which, to a great extent, I, myself, have personally benefited from in my daily activities.
Cela me rappelle ce Petit prince qui voyage d’un astéroïde à l'autre tout en continuant de veiller sur sa rose délicate qui se trouve dans un environnement hostile. Et vous vous rappellerez tous du Petit prince qui nettoie les volcans et élague les baobabs afin de procurer un environnement idéal à la croissance et l'épanouissement de sa rose délicate.
Just like in real life! Keep your eyes on the ball. We all may face difficulties and challenges yet we should not forget the main task ahead … is to preserve the gentle rose … that is, to focus on the goal you have set yourself to strive for. As The Little Prince would state, “to reach for the stars … to dream … is a matter of such importance. It is not what is visible to the naked eye that counts, it is what is in the heart that will make the difference!
On this day of graduation, may I close by wishing each of you, the same degree of passion, perseverance, strength, and wisdom as that I have learned from
The Little Prince … to send you, Graduants, safely off on your journey
to reach for the stars!
Merci beaucoup … and Bon Voyage
Back to profile: Jozef STRAUS