At the entrance ceremony at the University of Seoul 2015
Venue: The University of Seoul
First of all, congratulations to the students and their parents!
I am very glad to see you young people here today. I am so proud of you, who have studied hard to feel the happiness at this very moment and will spend their time diligently preparing for the future. As President Won Yun-hi just said, this is a municipal school and thus those involved in running the school feel a heavy responsibility for the public aspects of society. We feel a strong sense of mission to recruit students with good scholastic ability and personality. I would like you to have a firm sense of pride and responsibility, keeping that fact in mind, and study hard for the development of the school and our society.
I personally had a special interest in how to run universities before I became Seoul Mayor. Upon becoming Mayor in 2012, I took the step of lowering the tuition fees of this school by half, and have worked to improve the system for recruiting new students through a team composed of faculty members, outside experts, and parents.
We at the SMG are making efforts to alleviate the financial burden of students and recruit students with exceptional scholastic ability and personality. You may feel proud of the fact that the way we select new students has an influence on the policy adopted by the Ministry of Education regarding the college entrance exam.
As someone involved in running the school, I would like you to engage in great challenges to make your dreams come true in addition to studying hard, keeping in mind that meeting such challenges is a privilege allowed only for young people.
It is said that nowadays young people have given up five things in the midst of the difficulties of finding employment: love, marriage, children, owning a house, and relationships with others. As a member of the older generation, I feel deeply sad and sorry for young people forced to experience all these hardships.
Still, I feel the energy of hope at the sight of you here today; you are like the sun rising in the east in morning. You know how bright and hopeful a morning sun is, don’t you?
I often say that the world belongs to those who dream. Those with a dream and hope can withstand hardships and frustrations.
Please promise that you will not give up your dreams and hope no matter how hard your future life may be.
I would like you to dream of a fulfilling life with passion in your hearts, rather than trying to aim for success in life as defined by other people.
Audrey Hepburn is one of my favorite actresses. She engaged in poverty and disaster relief and social contribution activities around the world, serving as the Goodwill Ambassador for the UNICEF. She said, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” The power of turning the impossible into the possible, of turning hopelessness to hope, comes from your challenges and ability to imagine. Why not resolve to push yourself to face challenges courageously and increase your imagination? We are all rooting for you.
Congratulations on your becoming a family member of the University of Seoul. Thank you.