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Sharjah Ruler presides over AUS graduation ceremony
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) presided over the Spring 2012 Commencement Ceremony where more than 500 students graduated in various fields of academic disciplines.
"I am happy to be among you today to share with you the joy of your graduation and your objective in attaining your university degree. I would also like to congratulate your families and professors for this achievement. Seeing you receive your degree is a great source of pride for your families and especially your university, which has done its utmost in providing the best academic environment for you, preparing you for a successful career. I hope you will continue your ambition and pursue even higher levels of education," said His Highness.
Sheikh Dr. Sultan expressed his satisfaction for the outstanding progress that AUS has achieved over the years and for producing high quality graduates. "For many years, I had thought about setting up a world-class institution of higher education in Sharjah. Now, 15 years have passed since this vision was materialized. Since then, American University of Sharjah has established an admirable reputation internationally. Furthermore, the university has continued developing its academic standards and improving its place in the list of institutions of higher education around the globe. The university has continued its planning to introduce academic programs that meet the needs of society in order to become a center that provides solutions for various industries."
The Sharjah Ruler also mentioned a number of achievements that the university has recently achieved, "Your university was the only one in the Middle East chosen to participate in a prestigious international design exhibition held in Italy this April. Nine of our university students, along with their professor, participated in the recent Cannes Film Festival. An AUS student's project won two awards at the UAE country finals of a technical competition organized by Microsoft."
"The university celebrated the success of five professors from the Department of English for their contributions in the writing of five books. An AUS professor has represented the Middle East in a conference on Cloud Computing. AUS has been ranked first in the Gulf region for its MBA program and second in the Middle East and North Africa Region, according to a study published by Forbes Middle East. In the School of Business and Management, the management information systems program has recently been ranked among the top 100 programs worldwide for its research productivity. One of the latest conferences organized by the university was the Arab International Women's Forum. The forum was attended by a host of Arab and international leaders and stressed the importance of the role played by women and the youth in the Arab World. A seminar on the protection of cultural heritage in times of crisis, the first of its kind in the Arab World, was also recently held at the university."
AUS Chancellor Dr. Peter Heath welcomed graduates and their families to AUS and congratulated the graduates for their achievements. "I am pleased to wish you all a warm welcome to American University of Sharjah to celebrate with our graduates and their families one of the most important events of their lives," said Dr. Heath.
"I congratulate you, Graduates, for accomplishing the goal you set yourself all those years ago. As freshmen, you summoned up the courage and made a commitment to yourself, your family and your university to complete a rigorous course of study," said the Chancellor.
"You persevered through long days of lectures and long nights of study, worrying about how and if you were going to make it through. Your parents, too, persevered through economic uncertainties to ensure they could give you the strong emotional and financial support you needed during those years. Through your hard work and dedication, you have every right to be proud of your hard-won achievement," said Dr Heath.
The breakdown of the graduates is as follows:
Total number of graduating students: 506
Number of undergraduate students receiving degrees: 444
Number of graduate students receiving degrees: 62
Number of male graduate and undergraduate students: 240
Number of female graduate and undergraduate students: 266
Total number of UAE nationals: 89
A breakdown of the graduating class by college/school is as follows:
College of Engineering: (177 undergraduate and 29 graduate)
School of Business and Management: (129 undergraduate and 24 graduate)
College of Arts and Sciences: (74 undergraduate and 8 graduate)
College of Architecture, Art and Design: (64 undergraduate and 1 graduate)
Speaking on behalf of the graduating class, the Class of Spring 2012's valedictorian, reminded her fellow graduates the lessons learned during their time at AUS. "Being students at AUS has taught us all so much, but the two most important lessons we learned were how to succeed, and how to be kind. We learned that these two lessons come hand in hand, and that we can never achieve the former before truly understanding the latter. At AUS, we grew both intellectually and emotionally, and every step we took was a step toward who we are today; a step towards becoming better people," said Nur al Huda Amin Amer.
"At AUS success is not a term we throw around lightly, and being here has taught us a few important lessons about succeeding; first, we learned to persevere and second we learned always put forth our greatest effort in everything we do. Our university years have not been easy; there were tears of frustration, there were some bad grades- but we never gave up. We kept pushing through the seemingly endless amount of midterms and papers to make it here today, to finally be graduating. We learned that if success were to elude us on our first attempt, we should seek it out, again."
"We also learned to always do our best, regardless of what we were working on. Effort is admirable, and whereas it may not ensure that we reach what we aspire for, we would have the consolation of knowing that we did do our best. Most importantly, we learned that success does not only come in the form of academic achievement; it comes in a variety of forms and ways. When we learned to accept the different cultures and backgrounds of our professors and peers, we succeeded in becoming more open-minded people. When we gave back to our communities by participating in the various Community Services activities, we succeeded in becoming better citizens in our society. And when we took the time to learn something new, we succeeded in becoming well-rounded people. We became stars in plays and singing choirs, we were participated in MUN conferences, we played sports and built a home for orphans, but above as AUS students we understood that to succeed we need to be kind; to treat people well," concluded Amer as she challenged her fellow graduates to keep pressing on. "Graduates of Spring 2012, challenge yourselves. Challenge the world. And on your climb to the top, make sure you don't step on anyone's feelings."
Sheikh Sultan then honored the graduates Bayan Kattan and Ghaith Hattab both from the College of Engineering who were declared the recipient of the President's Cup for achieving the highest grade point average. He also honored Fatima Tariq from the College of Arts and Science who received the Chancellor's Cup for exhibiting an outstanding combination of academic excellence, general character and service to university. Later Dr. Heath presented His Highness, the Ruler of Sharjah, with a painting of AUS Library building on behalf of the university and the graduates.
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 5,200 students and a full-time faculty of more than 350 highly trained men and women.