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Sharjah Ruler attends AUS Alumni Reunion Dinner
"American University of Sharjah (AUS) has taken great steps since its inception and is committed to becoming a leading university of the world," said His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), at the Eighth Annual Alumni Reunion Dinner held today, January 29, 2015 on the AUS campus.
The Sharjah Ruler expressed his satisfaction at the university's pace of development and said that starting this year AUS will be investing over AED 300 million towards the expansion of its College of Engineering and other colleges and school. This investment will help AUS augment its focus on scientific research and development as it moves into the next phase of its growth, he added.
His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan welcomed the alumni back to campus. "Welcome to AUS, your university and second home," he said addressing the alumni. "After your graduation, you have all embarked on different paths. But you return every year to your alma mater where your names are engraved on the walls of this university. Always remember your university as it will always remember you," he added.
He said that throughout the years, AUS had benefitted from the experience of numerous chancellors and faculty members who played an important role in the university's development. Remembering former chancellor Dr. Peter Heath who passed away in November 2014, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan said that Dr. Heath's memory will live on with us. He said that the university will continue to build on his good work. "We are pleased to have the new chancellor Dr. Björn Kjerfve bring his experience and expertise to AUS and to lead this university to greater heights," he stated.
The alumni reunion is one of the highlights of the AUS calendar, as it allows alumni from all over the world to convene at the university and share with their former professors and peers the direction their lives had taken.
AUS Chancellor Björn Kjerfve then welcomed the graduates back "home" to their alma mater. "Your presence here means a great deal to us. The doors of this university-your university-will always be open for you. You play an integral part in our effort to make this great institution even greater," he said.
"It gives me pleasure to inform you that with the Fall 2014 commencement ceremony, our university has exceeded the milestone figure of 10,000 alumni, who are now part of the AUS family! Members of this great, diverse and multinational group of former students are spread throughout the world. Many of you have come from near and far tonight to be with us. And this is indeed why the Alumni Reunion Dinner holds such a special place in the university's annual calendar," added Dr. Kjerfve.
The Chancellor also shared with returning alumni the plans to introduce PhD programs at AUS in the future.
Prior to the main event, each AUS college and school held its own reception to welcome back its alumni. These events allowed each graduate to reconnect with old classmates and appreciate the changes and advancements at AUS.
Samer El Gamal, President of the AUS Alumni Association (AUSAA), congratulated His Highness on the occasion of the 10,000 alumni mark. He then shared with fellow alumni plans for the establishment of the AUS Alumni Annual Fund, an opportunity for the university alumni to give back to the university. The fund will be used to support worthy initiatives on campus and will help ensure that AUS continues to be the region's leading institution for higher education.
El Gamal also asked his fellow alumni to stay actively involved with their alma mater. "I would like to ask you to become one of the people that AUS students can be grateful to, not only today, but in the years to come. My fellow Alumni Association Board members and I would love to hear from each of you about how we can work together," he said. "Better yet, nominate yourself for a position on the AUS Alumni Association Council."
The reunion also honored the new inductees to the Alumni Wall of Fame, which recognizes those who contributed to making a difference during their time as students and have achieved success in their careers. These alumni were Imran K. Malik, Aisha Abdulla Miran and Reem Abdelrahim Binkaram from the Class of 2002; Dr. Akram Bin Sediq from the Class of 2005; and Sarah Al Aidy from the Class of 2012.
New this year was an Instagram competition in which alumni were asked to post pictures showing their pride as graduates of AUS, with the hashtag #10kAUSalumni. Anete Thomas (CAS Fall 2013), Sara Al Sayegh (SBA Fall 2013), Anam Tariq (SBA Fall 2013), Fasehuddin Ahmed (CEN Spring 2009) and Muhannad Nabulsi (CEN Fall 2013) were declared the winners of the competition.
The dinner was also attended by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman of Department of Statistics and Social Development; Sheikh Salem Bin Abdul Rehman Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Ruler's Office; Salem Yousuf Al Qaseer, Chairman of the Academic Office; members of the AUS Board of Trustees, as well as senior government and university officials.
The event was sponsored by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Bee'ah, Crescent Petroleum, EGA, Fast Building Contracting Company, Shurooq, Henkel Gulf, JETEX, The Kanoo Group, Petrofac, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Al Habtoor Leighton Group, Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, Hyundai Juma Al Majid, Unilever Gulf, and Construction Products Holding Company (CPC).