Unification News for June 2002

Commencement 2002 Remarks

Tyler O. Hendricks
June, 2002

How would I capture the distinguishing characteristics of the academic year we are now bringing to a close? I have two ways. One, I consider it to have been the Year of the Students. Led by a large cadre of Korean church leaders, our student body has invested their hearts into improving UTS, beginning with their first week here, when they spent two days removing the wax built up for two decades on the dining room floor. I would like to think we were all scraping off the schoolís hard covering, once applied for the sake of beauty, but never renovated, and building up the dirt over the years. We want to scrap it off and get down to the original floor, and not let the residue of old habits gradually dull our institution.

In ways small and large, led by their activist president, In Sung Moon, the students worked together with the administration, faculty and even Board, to improve the student lounge, the study rooms, the restored small chapel, and the academic programs. They challenged us to strive for excellence, so after many years of dormitory dormancy, the Board this morning approved a major restoration project to create living and study space worthy of an institution as great as UTS aspires to be.

The second mark of this year I call the African initiative. What it is, is the first national-level commitment to UTS, UTS partnering with a nation, and it was the nationís initiative that brought this about. Led by National Messiah Mike and Wiveka Lamson, the nation of Camaroon believes the Founderís vision for UTS to educate its future generation of leaders. In coordination with UTS Camaroon has created a fundraising team in America that provides scholarships for the education of their nationís future leaders. Those future leaders are from the Unification Church and other churches. You can view the Camaroon exhibit downstairs this afternoon.

I hope that all nations might have leadership as visionary, faithful and entrepreneurial as does Camaroon, to work with UTS for the education of its future leadership.

In Godís plan of creation, every entity has a purpose of serving an entity larger than itself. What is the greater entity served by a school? A school exists to serve the society, nation and world. It does so by helping to create individuals of quality, individuals who contribute to the good of the society. The school strives to form of its graduates people who place the needs of society above their personal desires, and who strive to integrate their personal desires, goals, skills and talents with the ideal of service to the greater good.

In this context, how do we locate our place, our personal purpose? In Godís economy, we believe that God has created a place for each of us suitable to who we are, and what He wants us to become. The eternal wisdom of religious faith tells us to seek deeply to discover Godís purposes in our everyday life, with trust that He is involved in our daily struggles, and accepts our self-offering no matter what the circumstances. Even when Jesus was on the cross, or when martyrs died for their faith, or when our Founder was tortured in prison and swallowed up in the North Korean gulag, they glorified Godís will that put them there. If we cannot do that, no matter how blessed our life might be, we will always think that we are being treated unfairly.

A line from "Sound of Music" provides Hollywoodís simple expression of faith in a higher providence ruling our life: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window somewhere." Graduation is intense and exciting because we participate with men and women who are standing, as a group, outside a closed door. The door to UTS student life is now closed for you, and you have to find a window somewhere. God has prepared a window for you. The Founder and his representatives who have spoken to graduating classes over the years maintain the same emphasis: the UTS graduate is expected to be a person of perfect heart and absolute faith, love and obedience, dedicated to the building of Godís kingdom on earth. It means to be able to put oneself aside, pull your mind away from the closing door, and see Godís window.

As you do this, your life itself will become a window, as the glory of God finds its occasion to be displayed in you. As we let go of our clinging to life, while maintaining purity of motivation and obedience of spirit, we will always be caught in Godís hands.

Keep the spirit of the Year of the Students at UTS! Inherit the spirit of Godís work through UTS and Camaroon. If we have faith, we will do the works of Jesus, and True Parents, and greater works that these.

May God truly bless the members of class of UTS 2002 and all UTS alumnae. Congratulations, and thank you.

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