We first met each other at Duke 4 years ago by accidentally running into each other on this beautiful Duke campus. We were both rushing to class so we talked no more than just saying “Hi, how are you?” as two strangers would do. Little did we know that in the following 4 years, we would share some of our most cherished memories, grow into adulthood together, and that today we would be standing in the same spot to celebrate your graduation. We now are both Duke alumni.

You are definitely a big reason that made going to Duke so worth it. You are no doubt one of the most hard working persons I have ever known and for many times, you showed me the fruits of diligence and dedication. You constantly reminded me how to treat others with dignity and empathy.

I admire your limitless intellectual curiosity and thirst for knowledge. You can spend a whole evening to read about an unfamiliar topic and never quits until you understand everything, just the same way how you can spend your time to patiently listening to a stranger’s story, then come back and pose questions to understand how the person’s background shapes who they are. You are critical and even though sometimes your criticism can drive me up the wall, most of the times, it saves me from troubles and teaches me the importance of diving deep far beyond the surface.

You look quiet, but you possess a strong will and determination. You seem serious to new friends, but you are funny and I am among a few lucky ones who can appreciate and laugh at your humor. You love quantitative works, but I know behind your impregnable curtain of numbers and analytics is a deep sense of humanity. I always say I’m optimist, but you are the one who refreshes my optimism again and again.

You can be very proud of yourself today, not only because of the two degrees you have earned in biomedical engineering and math, but also because of the lessons and work ethics you’ve shared with me and many others in the past 4 years at Duke and because of the amazing things you will be doing in the future. You are the biggest gift for your mom on this Mother’s Day and she is surely proud of you. I am, too, very proud of you and excited to see what you will make in the future.


Quang Do