Updates - NYIT Office of the President
President’s Salute to the Tenth M.B.A. Cohort in Nanchang, China
Apr 23 2011

President Guiliano congratulated graduates in NYIT’s tenth M.B.A. cohort at partner institution Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics (JUFE) on Saturday, April 23. The 93 graduates were honored during a ceremony at JUFE’s Nanchang, China campus.

President Wang, Vice President Lu Fucai, Chairman Liao Jingiu,  distinguished guests, members of the NYIT class of 2011, faculty, and staff:

Greetings on this wonderful morning.

Today we celebrate our tenth NYIT commencement ceremony here in Nanchang. And I salute the 93 M.B.A students who are graduating and completing an important chapter in their lives.

We are honored to count you among our graduates and are grateful and honored by the ongoing support of our partner, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics.

Today’s world is, of course, full of economic and social challenges, and economists such as Nobel Laureate Gary Becker point to human capital as key to solving ALL of the challenges we face today and in the future. “Human capital”…the term itself suggests that each educated or skilled person is a precious resource, in a world greatly in need of such resources. Premier Wen Jiabao himself says that you, China’s college graduates, are this country’s most “valuable human resources.” Indeed, many important educational and economic advancements have created the human capital to meet the complex challenges of the 21st-century.

As a not-for-profit institution of higher learning, NYIT’s rewards are not measured in money but in the creation of human capital. Our students and graduates are those rewards, so we thank you.

Your choice of NYIT, a 21st-century global university, speaks volumes about your personal goals. You are graduating from a distinguished university with its main campuses in New York, of course, but also with students from 106 nations, all 50 of the United States and more than 85,000 graduates.

Let me remind you our first name is New York.

New York is an extraordinary calling card on the global landscape. It is recognized all over the world because New Yorkers are so global and New York is a world capital. And we provide that access to the world through our last name, Technology.  Value and use our calling card well ... you’ve earned it.

You, as businesspeople and scholars of business, know that technology—and all the communications and inventions that it enables—has made the world smaller.  NYIT’s roots in technology have taught us that new technological advances are of little value to countries that have very few skilled workers who know how to use them.

Yes, technology has also supported the economic expansion of emerging economies. And it has made the prosperity of all nations more tightly intertwined than ever. And you will participate in this global digital economy with an education that has taught you to be well-prepared, capable of innovation and leadership, and armed with the ability to be creative, adaptable, and clever problem-solvers.

You also know that shared knowledge within the global economy is expanding at a frenetic, exponential pace. This presents unique challenges—and opportunities—to you and to NYIT.  New scientific breakthroughs are made every day, and new theories displace old ones on a regular basis. This explosion of information will be shared through the global economy, wherein knowledge—rather than capital or physical labor—is the primary wealth-creating asset, the ultimate source of competitive advantage and long-term sustainability.  Today, for example, the majority of the gross domestic product among developed nations is knowledge-based. We can only imagine what it will be in 30 years.

We as a university embrace the innovative potential of rapidly evolving new technologies, and you, as business leaders, will need to do the same as you continue your lifelong learning process.

We have entered an era that will, I think, be known as The Century of China and America.

In the recent past, globalization was driven by Western investment and capital, in order to supply Western demand. This is changing dramatically. Today, let us take a moment to marvel at China’s rise on the international scene in just one decade.

China has become the world’s largest capital surplus economy. Its annual flows of outward investment more than doubled between 2007 and 2009.  Today, American companies have nearly 50 billion dollars invested in China. In the next two years, China is expected to become the second largest source of global foreign direct investment.

The growth of the Chinese economy has helped create 700,000 new millionaires and a middle class of more than 300 million.

The New York Times detailed how the expertise of business and technology professionals has improved life in your country: urban incomes have more than tripled, life expectancy has grown by six years, and literacy is soaring among adults.

We all benefit from these advances.  I recently saw a statistic that would surprise many of us: About 260,000 students from other countries are studying in China this year, and that number is expected to reach 500,000 – almost double – by the year 2030.  That will certainly lead to more sharing of knowledge among countries.

In a business, we know that work is profitable when outputs surpass inputs. In a truly globalized university, education should follow the same model: The success of a university should not be measured by what it gives students, but what the students give back to the world. China’s evolving role in the global economy is proof of the quality of its scholars and students.

Let me emphasize that education — whether through teaching, or creating knowledge through research — is as important as government or business in the new economy. 
This is a time for great optimism.  In the 21st-century, I believe, solutions to the world’s difficult problems will be found in a mix of 1) science and technology, 2) business and market economics, 3) government and public policy, and 4) education.  The most important key will be 5) the breakdown of traditional, isolated islands of thought and action. We are breaking boundaries inside campuses. We are breaking boundaries between classrooms and businesses. We are even working across national borders. 

In this century, we are finding integrated approaches to global problems.  These approaches are based on collaboration – on teams of people and clusters of ideas.  In this effort, we are your partners.

My hope for you—my challenge to you, NYIT M.B.A. graduates—is that you apply the perspective, knowledge, and skills that you have acquired with us to a global landscape … to solving through technology, as well as intelligence and compassion, problems that exist on a global scale. And that you will accomplish this by nurturing and leveraging your NYIT contacts: professors, colleagues and, yes, the international network of NYIT alumni you are about to join.

Your connection to NYIT will not end today, but will carry you forward as you face new challenges. We encourage you to stay close to your NYIT family, and continue the global exchange of ideas you began here. We hope to see you visiting our New York campuses and hope to read of your successes in the NYIT Magazine. And, of course, I look forward to seeing you at NYIT alumni events in China.

Commencements are celebrations, yes, but they are formal occasions marking a great tradition and signaling a transition and a new journey. Today is not about an ending; we must recall that commencement by definition is about a beginning … a fresh start.

You will have the privilege of working in one of the most exciting and most challenging times in human history, in a world full of exhilarating potential and precipitous change.

I believe that education is the currency that crosses borders and oceans … it enables solutions to civilization’s most complex challenges. And you, here today, are the bearers of that currency. Spend it wisely.

What I wish for each of you is:

  • the confidence to embrace new ideas and new people.
  • a willingness to learn from your mistakes.
  • a lifetime of learning and personal growth.
  • and, most of all, a disposition to speak gently … to love much … to laugh often … and to be kind.

Do make us proud.

Congratulations and best wishes to you, the tenth cohort of our China M.B.A. program and members of NYIT’s class of 2011.


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