Boston College announced that Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will be the commencement speaker at its 145th Graduation Ceremony. It is the first time, as far as I can remember, that a Greek prime minister has been chosen to play this role, one that is not often given to foreign leaders.
So this is an important honor. An honor from a historic university that could have its choosing in terms of speakers.
Several times in the past, speakers at a university graduation ceremony have made history by announcing historic programs, commenting on current affairs, or generally inspiring graduates with the advice, ideas, and guidance they give the graduates for the new life that awaits them.
Again, commencement speakers rarely are politicians from a foreign country.
The decision of Boston College to honor Kyriakos Mitsotakis by choosing him as the speaker of this year’s graduation is an important event for him, but also for Greece.
The University obviously recognizes the face of a different kind of Greek leader – modern, rooted in the principles and values of the West, a graduate of top American universities – and who in the three years has governed Greece and has addressed one crisis after another in the best possible way.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis is therefore in the eyes of the University a pleasant surprise, representing the intersection of the achievements of the classical past revered by academia and the challenges of the present, and reflecting the positive view that has emerged, at least in America, about Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
And it also reflects this – that Greece is now led by a Prime Minister who enjoys the appreciation of his peers for his modern way of thinking and his facing of a series of difficult problems. He is advancing in various ways the interests of the country:
From the improvement of relations of Hellenes Abroad with the motherland, to national security issues, to the formation of a positive investment climate and the promotion of tourism, etc.
However, next year I would like to see the Greek Prime Minister be the speaker at the graduation of one of the Community’s Greek schools. The impact of such an event would be huge.