Thank you Dean Rellahan. President Wright, members of the Board of Trustees, distinguished faculty, family, friends, and fellow graduates – Aloha and welcome. To the family and friends of all the graduates ---- Thank you. Your presence here tonight is greatly appreciated. I would also like to take a moment to thank my family, friends, and the professors and staff of The College of International Studies.
I decided to come to HPU and study International Relations because I wanted to understand why the world works the way it does. At the apex of what I have come to understand is that the globe has shrunk. More and more, people from various cultures are coming into contact with each other on a scale larger than any other in history. With ever-increasing accessibility to the internet and further technological advances in transportation and communication, we can move about the globe with relative ease. Dr. James Primm exemplified this point in his political science class by stating the following: "Almost all of us can reach into our wallets right now and produce a little plastic card with about 20 or so numbers on it. This is ultimately all you need to get yourself pretty much anywhere in the world, almost instantaneously." He is exactly right. Now, I know that repaying this debt upon our return would probably present a whole new set of challenges to most of us, but again—we were studying political science not finance.
This ability to move people, goods and information about the globe quickly and efficiently is what’s commonly referred to as Globalization. Whether we are aware of it or not, we all benefit from and contribute to the process of globalization. As evidence of benefiting from it, my girlfriend is from the former East Berlin. We often joke that if the Berlin Wall was still up today, we’d most likely not even know of the others’ existence. So as theses barriers continue to fall, including the intangible ones, we will be exposed to many new people, cultures and ideas. The task for this next generation, which is now stepping into positions of power, is to be aware of the questions and concerns that arise from dealing within a "globalized" world. There are many points of conflict when cultures are exposed to each other, and we need to find ways to mitigate these forces. Understanding the reasons for their origin is the first of many important steps towards eliminating the backlashes against globalization.
After all, no matter how hard we try to differentiate ourselves from every other person on this globe, we still have one basic commonality—We’re all stuck on this one planet together. So, my fellow graduates, as we set off on our individual paths and take our first steps out into this new world, we take them together.