|140 Students Graduate from GIPA|
|October 25, 2008|
Cars crowded the road to Turtle’s lake, past trees and bushes that bristled with the colors of autumn. Ladies in thin evening dresses braved the chilly October weather, and they waited with men in suits for the October 21 graduation ceremony of the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA).
Behind the scenes, people struggled to fit into gowns and black hats. When the ceremony finally started, the GIPA alumni of 2008 entered the stage. The satin lines of their gowns varied, depending on which school of GIPA they belonged to.
140 alumni from the School of Government, the School of Law and Politics and the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management received their Master’s Degree from GIPA.
GIPA rector Levan Tsutskiridze congratulated graduates of the institute and encouraged them to use their knowledge and experience during these hard times.
“While there are the huge problems facing Georgia, you have one of the most important roles. You represent professions that are the keys for the development of this country,” said Tsutskiridze.
Among the guests in the pit was Sandra E. Roelofs, the first lady of Georgia. She wished the students success with their families and their careers.
“You have a huge responsibility, as you will have to work in the public sector,” said Roelofs.
The US Embassy has been supporting GIPA, and US Ambassador John Tefft spoke during the ceremony, congratulating GIPA graduates.
“GIPA was a pioneer in implementing a pro-Western education system in Georgia. That’s why this institute is one of the most distinguished in the Georgian educational system,” said Gia Nodia, Georgian Minister of Education and Science.
After the guest’s speeches, the rector and the school deans awarded the students with their Master’s Degrees.
Tsutskiridze told the students, “You have graduated!” and “You are free!” as several black hats were thrown up to the stage.
GIPA graduate Nino Ekvtimishvili claimed that she received a proper education, and now she can work in all fields of journalism, adding that “the most important thing for me is that I gained good friends here, and we have the same interests that are related to our profession.”
Mzika Khupunia received the Cum Laude diploma for Journalism and Media Management.
“This title now proves officially that I’m very, very clever, and if anyone doubts it I will show them this document,” said Khupunia, smiling.
While speaking with Nino, a blonde girl observing her diploma was photographed by her friends. Her name is Teona Kevlishvili, and she attended the English Language Master’s Degree program at the School of Journalism and Media Management. She said that her favorite part of the program was studying with an international group, which included students from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan.
“Now I feel more confident, when I have my MA in my hands,” said Kevlishvili.
The graduation wound to a close, and the footprints of 140 alumni were left by Turtle’s Lake’s as they scattered to Chavchavadze Avenue with their hard-earned diplomas.
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