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Maharishi University of Enlightenment celebrates first graduation
by Global Good News Reporter

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23 November 2004

This grand occasion to honour the first graduating class of MUE, was a day of great accomplishment for those associated with the University. As Dr Meg Custer, President of MUE, said, 'For me, this is one of the most fulfilling days of my life.'

The ceremony, which was broadcast live on the Maharishi Channel, began with the procession of the graduates, faculty, and special guest speakers. They were arrayed in beautiful caps and gowns of a deep gold, with the Doctors of Philosophy in gowns bearing the traditional triple-stripe pattern.

Seated on a stage decorated with an abundance of lights and flowers, the ladies proceeded to perform puja, the traditional ceremony of gratitude to the Vedic Tradition of Masters. Following the puja was a Sanskrit invocation of Saraswati, the Vedic embodiment of the principle of Total Knowledge.

Total Knowledge was the theme of the commencement exercises. Each speaker eloquently described how the University serves to develop the total consciousness of each student. Dr Rowan Barndon, Trustee of MUE, said that 'Higher education is for higher consciousness. . . . The real fruit of Vedic Education is not the acquisition of fragmented knowledge about different areas of life, but the experiences of higher consciousness.'

This experience of higher consciousness was exemplified by the graduating students as they each described their experiences of studying at MUE. They described an increase in depth and clarity of experience during the practice of Transcendental Meditation and its advanced techniques, an increase of bliss while reading Vedic Literature, and an overall expansion of happiness, and fulfilment in daily life.

His Excellency Dr Bevan Morris, Minister of Enlightenment for the Global Country of World Peace and the President of Maharishi University of Management, connected by video-conference with the ceremony to address the students and faculty. Dr Morris praised the students, faculty, and supporters of MUE for their great dedication to promoting enlightenment and perfection in the world. 'Even your name (of the University) is perfect,' he said.

In his inspiring speech, Dr Morris also brought out the principle of Sankalpa, or intention. He said that students at MUE are learning to function at this level of quiet intention from which anything can be achieved. He emphasized that by anything, he meant anything!

Following Dr Morris's talk, Dr Marcia Murphy, Dean of Faculty of MUE, led the conferring of degrees and certificates. The Masters and Bachelors students received their diplomas along with a special solid gold pin inscribed with the word 'Invincibility' surrounded by lotus-flowers. The PhD students were hooded in silk vestments in addition to receiving diplomas and pins.

An important moment in the ceremony was the conferring of MUE's first Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree to Mrs Rona Abramson. Dr Abramson was awarded this degree in recognition of her lifelong commitment to progress and harmony in the world, and her great contribution of intelligence, energy, and support to projects for promotion of peace. Dr Abramson then expressed how sincerely honoured she felt to receive this degree.

Inspiring speeches were also given by Mrs Sherry McDonald, founding co-chair and member of the development board; Dr Robin Rowe, Trustee of Maharishi Open University and Maharishi Spiritual University; and Ellen Akst Jones, the secretary-treasurer and University Counsel.

The commencement exercises concluded with the charge to the graduates given by Dr Meg Custer. In her speech, Dr Custer told the graduates, 'You have discovered the treasury of. . .all wealth within yourself. And you own it—I have seen you dip into it and use it everyday with confidence, joy, and freedom.' She asked then, what kind of charge she could possibly give these graduates who were already shining examples of MUE's goal: enlightenment. She decided to charge the graduates 'to continue to be what you already are. . .to enjoy your beautiful state of fullness of life, nourishing the whole world with your bliss. You are creating Heaven on Earth.'

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