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Sharjah Ruler emphasizes commitment to continue AUS progress
His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and Founder and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS) has emphasized commitment to continue AUS progress. While addressing the Fall 2012 commencement ceremony of the university held today, January 19, 2013, at University City Hall, Sharjah, he pointed to the fact that AUS was ranked among the world's top 500 universities. Over 600 students graduated in various majors offered by the university at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The ceremony was also attended by His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.
"We emphasize our commitment again and our keen interest in developing this university to maintain its high academic level among the world's top universities. This commitment has been fruitful, as late last year AUS was ranked among the world's top 500 universities," Sheikh Sultan said. He attributed this achievement to the integrity and hard work of all members of the board of trustees, faculty, administration and students who had been involved at the university since its inception. "I call upon them all, wherever they are, to be proud of this achievement, which will be a motive for us to continue developing the university's academic level and world reputation, and to serve its students and society," he said.
While applauding the Class of Fall 2012, His Highness said, "I congratulate you on your success and I also want to congratulate your parents, families and teachers for your achievement. This great moment will remain in our memories as a testament to your effort and will also show your proud parents that you have achieved your aspiration. I wish also to congratulate your university, which celebrates your achievement today being part of its mission of distinction and leadership. I urge you to continue on your path towards serving your nations by using the knowledge and experience you have gained at your university."
The Sharjah Ruler also highlighted a milestone in the number of degrees conferred at AUS. "Upon your graduation, this university will have awarded over 8,000 students with degrees. These graduates are the university's ambassadors to the world. Their achievements are a testimony to the university's world-class standard of education. Many of the university's graduates have reached high positions in diverse fields and have achieved success all over the world including the Middle East, Europe, North America and Australia. I urge you to follow the path of those who graduated before you."
"At the AUS Alumni Reunion Dinner on Thursday, I met many of those who have previously graduated from this university and was pleased to know the success they have achieved at their workplaces as testified by their employers. This reflects the distinction in education and career preparation offered by this university. I look forward to meeting with you on the next reunion occasion," said Sheikh Dr. Sultan.
"I wish you success in developing your societies, utilizing what you have learned in this university, which will continue to be your second home. Do not hesitate to visit whenever you have the chance. Distances may keep us apart, languages may differ, but you will be our sons and daughters wherever you are," added His Highness.
Also present were Sheikh Mohammed Bin Saud Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Central Finance Department; Sheikh Essam Bin Saqr Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Ruler's Office; Salem Bin Mohammed Al Owais, Advisor at The Ruler's Office; Mohammed Diab Al Moosa, Advisor at the Amiri Court; Dr. Amr Abdul Hameed, Advisor to His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah for Higher Education; a number of members of the executive and consultative councils of the emirate of Sharjah; members of the AUS board of trustees; vice-chancellors; and other senior university officials, as well as members of the media and the public.
AUS Chancellor Dr. Peter Heath also applauded the graduates. "I congratulate you, Graduates, for accomplishing the goal you set yourself all those years ago. When you arrived at AUS, you made a commitment to yourself, to your parents and to your university to follow our demanding program of study. This graduation ceremony signifies your success in fulfilling this commitment. You should feel extremely proud of your accomplishment," said Dr. Heath.
"AUS also asks of you that as you build careers you also make an effort to ensure that you make positive difference in the lives of those who surround you. While you work to achieve the success that you desire, you must also help others to attain all that they can be themselves," added the chancellor, "In doing this, you should be inspired by the achievements of the gentleman next to me, His Highness, part of whose vision is to dedicate Himself to tirelessly building AUS, a university that after 15 short years now ranks among the top 500 universities of the world."
The breakdown of the graduates is as follows:
Total number of graduating students: 642
Number of undergraduate students receiving degrees: 585
Number of graduate students receiving degrees: 57
Number of male graduate and undergraduate students: 362
Number of female graduate and undergraduate students: 280
Total number of UAE nationals: 127
A breakdown of the graduating class by college/school is as follows:
College of Architecture, Art and Design: (25 undergraduate and 3 graduate)
College of Arts and Sciences: (74 undergraduate and 3 graduate)
College of Engineering: (267 undergraduate and 44 graduate)
School of Business and Management: (219 undergraduate and 7 graduate)
The student speaker at the ceremony was former AUS Student Council President Luis A. Garcia, who recounted his initial years at AUS as a nervous freshman. "I invite you to remember the first time you visited AUS. Remember the mixed emotions you felt when you saw our iconic main building, the beautiful Islamic architecture, the mosque, the fountains sprinkling and the induced spatial harmony. As time went by, I was reassured that I could not be in a better place. Over the years, I found my home in the embracing AUS multicultural family; yes, we are a family."
"The best part about studying at a university like AUS is that we all took away something more significant than just specific information about fields and disciplines. With such a strong focus on the liberal arts, we were all encouraged to analyze social issues. Additionally, our interaction with classmates, friends and professors from over 80 nationalities enabled us to open our minds to different perspectives and beliefs, and exposed us to very different ways of interpreting life," added Garcia.
"Our bags aren't only full of dreams anymore; now we have wisdom, passion, a lifetime of friendships, treasured memories, and the certainty that no matter how far away we go, we will always be part of the great AUS multicultural family," he concluded.
In 1997, AUS opened its doors to 285 students who had come to begin their studies with 30 faculty members. Today, the university is a complex of stunning buildings with over 5,700 students and a full-time faculty of more than 350 highly trained men and women.