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Sharjah Ruler attends AUS graduation ceremony
His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), attended the AUS fall graduation ceremony held today at University City Hall, Sharjah. The ceremony was also attended by His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.
A total of 480 undergraduate and graduate candidates participated in the Fall 2014 commencement ceremony.
As he congratulated the Class of Fall 2014, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah said in his opening speech, "This day represents a new beginning for you towards broader prospects. You will pursue either your higher education or begin your career. No matter which choice you make, the knowledge and skills you developed at your university are sources of power and support so that you may steadily reach your goals and become active members of society."
He expressed his satisfaction in AUS by saying, "Your university is not only the leading academic institution in the region, but also a leader in its efforts to cooperate and provide solutions to the various community sectors for the issues and challenges that they may face. These collaborations span cultural, educational, research and development opportunities. These achievements have led the university to be prominently listed in the world rankings of top universities, and we will strive to maintain this recognition."
He concluded his speech by asking graduates to use knowledge and skills for the benefit of their societies and nations.
A eulogy in memory of Dr. Peter Heath, the former chancellor of AUS, was also delivered on the occasion by Joseph L. Brand, a member of the AUS Board of Trustees. Dr. Heath passed away at his home in the US in November 2014.
Also present at the ceremony were Sheikh Essam Bin Saqr Al Qassimi, Advisor at the Office of His Highness The Ruler of Sharjah; Sheikh Homoud Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Ambassador of Bahrain to Saudi Arabia; Rashid Ahmed Bin Alshaikh, Chairman of the Amiri Court; Major Humaid Mohammed Al Hadeedi, Commander-General of Sharjah Police; a number of members of the executive and consultative councils of the emirate of Sharjah; members of the AUS Board of Trustees; and senior university officials, as well as members of the media and the public.
Addressing the graduates, AUS Chancellor Dr Björn Kjerfve said, "As you look back over your years at AUS, you will notice how things have changed from the first time you entered the university. Today your university is home to more than 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students from over 90 countries across the world. It has added to its roster of undergraduate majors and minors as well as challenging graduate programs."
"It has been our aim from the very outset to be known internationally for our high standards and academic prowess. The success that we enjoy today has come as a result of the vision, guidance and unstinting support provided to us by our President, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi. His vision for University City in general, and American University of Sharjah in particular, has been lauded internationally," added the AUS Chancellor.
"You are now, and forever will be, a member of the greater AUS family. And as you are a valued member of this important family, I would encourage you as alumni and friends of AUS to help provide support to those AUS students who will come after you," he continued.
The breakdown of the graduates is as follows:
Total number of graduating students: 480
o Number of undergraduate students receiving degrees: 422
o Number of graduate students receiving degrees: 58
Number of male graduates: 289
Number of female graduates: 191
Total number of UAE nationals: 93
A breakdown of the graduating class by college/school is as follows:
College of Architecture, Art and Design: 18 undergraduate and 10 graduate
College of Arts and Sciences: 51 undergraduate and 11 graduate
College of Engineering: 219 undergraduate and 26 graduate
School of Business Administration: 134 undergraduate and 11 graduate
The student speaker at the ceremony, Nada Al Assi, who expressed her joy in being an AUS graduate, gave an inspirational speech. "This day that we all dreamt of wearing the graduation gowns and caps, is now. I feel like these years have passed in a blink of an eye. Within this time lapse, a lot has changed. We might have experienced failure or success; we might have taken on an entrepreneurial position, or even won prestigious awards. Whatever paths, whatever memories we have of AUS, they are unique for all of us," Al Assi said.
Al Assi, who graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in finance, advised her peers, "Be open to the lessons from the universe and you will get ahead. Walk through life eager and open to self-improvement, to evolve as human beings. At the end, this is why we came to AUS...to come to the next level of understanding and compassion and to evolve in every way."
She concluded her speech by saying, "And now as we graduate to begin a new life, I wish that each and every single one of us will use the knowledge gained from this great university, which is ranked in the top 400 in the world, and has been our second home for so long, to move forward for the next change. Somebody among us might have the one voice that inspires change. So let us all aim to spread our knowledge and be optimistic about a bright future for our children and generations to come."
Founded in 1997, AUS has fulfilled His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan's vision of a quality institution catering to the aspirations and needs of the UAE and the wider Gulf community as a whole. Over the past decade, the student body increased considerably, necessitating the launch of two graduation ceremonies per year.