Lycée Français de Chicago 2017 Graduation Ceremony

Remarks by Consul General of France Vincent Floreani on the occasion of the Lycée Français de Chicago 2017 Graduation Ceremony.
Chicago, June 15, 2017.

Chers élèves,
Chers parents,
Chers membres du comité de direction,
Chers professeurs et personnels du lycée,

First of all, my congratulations to all the students who are graduating today. This is your ceremony, an important milestone in your life! You are moving from high school education to University studies, where you will experience more and more autonomy. This is a true passage to adulthood.

I have three messages for you:

First of all, you can be grateful to your parents who registered you at the Lycée. The Lycée offers the best of both the French system and the American system of education.

This beautiful graduation ceremony is a case in point. It does not exist in the French system but the Lycée is delighted to borrow this tradition from our American Friends.

You can be grateful too, to the faculty, who guided you in your intellectual and personal development during your studies at the Lycée. They are proud of your accomplishments. Teaching is a very demanding job, yet very rewarding.

Thanks also to the President, Mr. Eric Veteau, and the staff of the Lycée.

And not to forget, all the board members for their incredible dedication to the development of the Lycée and in particular, Mr. John Shulkin the Chairman of the Board!

All of them deserve a round of applause.

I am proud to have this great Lycée Français in Chicago, it is a key asset to attract French and international expatriates. This is essential to develop the economic relations of France and of many countries with the Chicagoland.

Secondly, you can be proud of yourselves. You have all worked hard, for an education that gives you a fantastic advantage, a strong multicultural and multilingual background, a global vision that is highly sought-after in higher education. You now have the ability to communicate and navigate the world in multiple languages.

You are also leaving the Lycée with values that we share with the American people and several countries of the world: Awareness, respect and empathy for others and for yourselves as well as an understanding of diverse cultural norms and nuances.

I should add the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity that will guide you in the future.

Take advantage of all of it, pursue your dreams …

… and, this is my third message, always keep in mind that the world is opening its doors to you.

The bilingual and trilingual education and culture that you have acquired at the Lycée will be an invaluable asset in our globalized world! Thanks to that, you have become global ambassadors.

This priceless role you will be playing from now on is demanding. You are expected to be responsible citizens and employ critical thinking and diplomacy; always acting with the utmost of integrity as a representative of the Lycée.

Some of you will move to higher education in France. This is a very good choice. As you know, France offers high quality education, free of charge most of the time, with a growing opening to the world and Paris is the number one preferred destination for international students.

Some of you may want to become diplomats, as I did some years back. Your multicultural education and your mastery of languages will be strong assets. It’s a great career that allows you to discover many other countries and cultures.

Whatever the path you will follow, think global and choose wisely. Corporations as well as young companies are looking at new opportunities abroad; culture and science have no more borders. The greatest challenges that we are facing today are on a global scale. We need young talented people, with great knowledge of the world to address the issues of today and tomorrow.

Congratulations on your graduation and I wish you all a happy summer vacation!

Merci beaucoup.

Last modified on 16/06/2017

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