Neus Ballús, sponsor of the 2014 graduation instils “courage, passion and commitment to yourselves” amongst UPF-IDEC graduates

The patio of the Roger de Llúria building on the Ciutadella campus this year played host to the master and postgraduate graduation ceremony for UPF-IDEC students. The graduation ceremony brought about 1,500 graduates, family members and teachers together and was presided over by Jaume Casals, rector of UPF, who was joined at the presidential table by the vice-rector of UPF Dr Mireia Trenchs, the general director of the Continuing Education Institute Carme Martinell, and the president of the Board of Trustees of Pompeu Fabra University, Núria Basi. The special guest was the prize-winning cinema director Neus Ballús, who was this year’s sponsor.

Neus Ballús gave a committed, personal speech, encouraging the audience to think. “I am here today not only because I am an ex-student but because of the success of La Plaga. But La Plaga would never have been possible if I hadn’t asked for help. In our individualized society, where it seems that we all must be self-sufficient, I want to tell you not to be afraid to ask for help or to work in a team”.

With her usual modest, natural manner, Ballús confessed that the success of La Plaga was highly unexpected. “We simply wanted to complete the project and do it well. We did not expect such recognition.” Passion, conviction and staying true to herself has been Ballús’ recipe for success, and she gave the same advice to the new graduates. “Value your time and do what you really want to do. Do not accept to simply make do, and be thinking at all times if what you are doing is what you want to do.” This is something that her father in particular taught her, Ballús recognized. “My father decided to go and live in the mountains. He studied philosophy, architecture, quantum physics and many other things, and he always did what he wanted to, not allowing himself to be swept away on or manipulated by the rhythms of society.”

There was enthusiastic applause from the audience when Neus Ballús finished her speech, which made a deep impression on the other presenters, students, teachers and the rector of UPF, Dr Jaume Casals. He also gave an intimate and very direct speech, calling on the graduates to ask if they had been happy during their time at the university and asking that they remain committed and connected to UPF. “Your relationship with the University does not end today. We try every day to make Pompeu Fabra University one of the best universities in Europe. But Pompeu Fabra University will become whatever you become.”
The rector congratulated all the UPF-IDEC graduates, wishing them every success in their professional lives and shaking their hands. “The University will always be with you”.

During the ceremony, which was presented by students from the Master in Public Speaking, Ricard Llauradó and Maria Victoria Pastor, the graduates received their commemorative diplomas from the academic directors. There were some moving moments, such as the showing of the Knowledge is an attitude video and speeches by Jordi Vera from the master program in Communications Management, and Tamara Peyretó from the master program in Legal Practice. The celebration was sponsored by the RACC and came to a close on the patio of the Jaume I building, with a farewell cocktail, traditional group photos, mobile phone selfies and goodbye embraces.