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2024 Graduation: Know your Times and Act with Knowledge Featured


The Cyprus Institute held its 2024 Graduation Ceremony on Thursday, June 13, 2024, at the Nicosia Municipal Theatre, in the presence of the President of the Republic of Cyprus, H.E. Dr. Nikos Christodoulides, who addressed the event. Prof. Didier Roux, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Institute, and Prof. Stavros Malas, CyI President and Provost, also addressed the ceremony, which was attended by leading figures from the scientific, business, and political world.
The commencement address, titled “The Role of Sustainable Natural Resource Management for the Future We Want,” was delivered by Dr. Janez Potočnik, Former EU Commissioner for Environment and Member of the Board of Trustees.
The Hon. Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, Mr. Nicodemos Damianou conferred Postgraduate Degrees to thirty-three (33) Master’s students, while CyI President and Provost, Prof. Stavros Malas conferred Degrees to twenty-five (25) graduating PhD students.
In recognition of their significant contributions to research and education, particularly their roles in the successful operation of The Cyprus Institute, Mr. George Vassiliou, former President of the Republic of Cyprus and Trustee Emeritus, and Prof. Edouard Brezin, Member of the Board of Trustees, were awarded Honorary Doctorates. The degrees were bestowed by CREF CEO, Prof. Costas N. Papanicolas, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Prof. Didier Roux, and CyI President, Prof. Stavros Malas.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Stavros Malas noted that the day was one of formal recognition and celebration of all the efforts and unwavering determination of the graduates in achieving a postgraduate degree at The Cyprus Institute. “Dear graduates you have reached a significant milestone in your life, and you should be immensely proud of yourselves. The world needs your creativity, your resilience, and your compassion. As you embark on this new chapter, I encourage you to remain curious and open-minded. Embrace lifelong learning, as education does not end with a degree. It is a continuous journey of growth and discovery. Seek out diverse perspectives, engage with different cultures, and be adaptable in the face of change. In doing so, you will not only enrich your own lives, but also contribute to a more inclusive and understanding world. Be bold in your aspirations, and do not be afraid to challenge the status quo. Nelson Mandela once said: Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, he stated.
Prof. Roux stated that fundamental research is conducted to generate new knowledge, enhancing our understanding of the world we live in and contributing to the universal body of knowledge, always with a strong and focused expertise. In contrast, industrial research addresses our social needs by leveraging existing knowledge from various fields to achieve practical outcomes. “Whatever path you choose to follow, success will be based on two pillars: the technical capacity to deliver results, and active participation and contribution to the collective organization of the establishment. Congratulations, and I wish you an exciting career”, he added.
In his welcome address, the President of the Republic of Cyprus indicated that The Cyprus Institute has become a Center of Excellence in science and technology, in fields such as the environment, energy, and archaeology. At the same time, he pointed out that the Institute's research on climate change has greatly contributed to the international scientific community, while the Institute has also provided exceptionally important data for the formulation of national and regional environmental policies, such as the Cyprus Climate Initiative in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.
In his commencement address, Dr. Potočnik explored the main challenges facing the planet and stated that we can solve them only through collaboration. The key challenge is how to switch from an economic system based on the notion of unlimited growth to one that is both ecologically sustainable and socially just. “Economy championed by industrialised nations is wasteful and unjust. We must shift away from the prevailing resource wasteful economic approach based on maximising the output of sectors, simplistically defined by GDP, towards an economy that is efficiently meeting human needs and optimise human wellbeing. The current logic is both ethically and ecologically unsustainable”, he highlighted.
In his opening remarks, CyI President Prof. Malas also introduced, for the first time, the CyI Anthem and the newly introduced motto of The Cyprus Institute Graduate School, “καιρὸν γνῶθι και γνοὺς πρᾶττε”.
The Cyprus Institute Anthem was played for the first time at the ceremony and was composed by renowned Cypriot composer and Artistic Director Dr. Marios Ioannou Elia. Inspired by the newly introduced motto of The Cyprus Institute Graduate School, the Anthem represents the Institute’s values and aspirations, serving as a powerful symbol of unity and pride. It cultivates a sense of belonging within our community and promotes the Institute’s identity and culture. Through the Anthem, we celebrate the Institute’s achievements and future aspirations as a world-class research and educational institution.
The new motto of The Cyprus Institute is a combination of two Delphic oracles, καιρὸν γνῶθι (know your times) and γνοὺς πρᾶττε (act with knowledge), attributed to Pittacus of Mytilene. The first part of the motto, καιρόν γνῶθι, emphasizes the importance of recognizing opportunities and understanding the context of one's environment. The second part of the motto, γνούς πρᾶττε, advises to act only with knowledge, relying on learning and wisdom to make informed decisions. Unanimously adopted by the Institute’s Academic Committee, the motto underscores the importance of recognizing and exploiting the opportunities offered by our time, while urging a continuous search for knowledge and action.
The Cyprus Institute Motto encapsulates the Institute’s mission and core principles, and serves as the guiding philosophy reflecting the Institute’s commitment to education, research, and societal contribution. The motto aims to inspire and create a point of reference for the Institute’s community, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
Congratulations to all our 2024 Graduates! We wish them best of luck in their future endeavours!

You can download more pictures from the Ceremony, here

You can watch the full CyI Graduation Ceremony 2024 here.

You can download the commencement address by Dr. Janez Potočnik here.



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