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Sultan attends AUS graduation ceremony
American University of Sharjah (AUS) has worked tirelessly to provide its students with academic knowledge and practical experience to become productive members of society, said His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and Founder and President of AUS. The Sharjah Ruler made these remarks while addressing the Fall 2011 commencement ceremony of the university held today, Saturday, January 28, at University City Hall, Sharjah. The commencement ceremony was attended by Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah; and Sheikh Abdullah Bin Salem Al Qassimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.
Congratulating the members of the Class of Fall 2011 on their achievements, His Highness said, "You are the model of the educated youth of this generation. You are equipped with the best of knowledge. You are our real fortune and our future. You will be turning the wheel of our future development. I urge you to bear this responsibility with honesty and integrity, and to build upon and preserve the achievements of those who graduated before you.
Sheikh Dr. Sultan said that as part of the university's development and expansion plans, AUS continues to launch important initiatives and strategies in collaboration with various segments of society. "The university also continues to add new academic programs to its roster to cater to the needs of society," he said. "In order to further strengthen cooperation between the university and society, AUS continues to act as a leading solution provider that caters to the various commercial, corporate, industrial and social needs of its environment."
The Sharjah Ruler also mentioned that the university has signed numerous agreements with various sectors in society, including a new strategic initiative of cooperation with selected schools throughout the Emirates. "As you know, AUS has always encouraged faculty and students to participate in local, regional and international conferences. Moreover, the university's academic reputation continues to grow around the world as it becomes known for the many international conferences and symposia it holds on campus every semester," said Sheikh Dr. Sultan.
The commencement ceremony was attended by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Saud Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Central Finance Department; Sheikh Isam Bin Saqr Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Ruler's Office; Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Corporation; and Sheikh Abdul Rahman Bin Salem Al Qassimi.
The ceremony was also attended by Rashid Ahmed Bin Al Sheikh, Chairman of the Amiri Court in Sharjah; General Humaid Mohammed Al Hadidi, Director-General of Sharjah Police; Mohammad Dhiab Al Mousa, Advisor at the Amiri Court; Dr. Amr Abdul Hamid, Advisor to His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah for Higher Education; members of the Sharjah Executive and Advisory Councils; faculty and staff along with family members of the graduates.
AUS Chancellor Dr. Peter Heath also congratulated the graduates. "Some of you finished your courses this past summer; others in the last week or so. For all of you, this achievement has taken years to accomplish. During these years, the university's faculty and staff have done their best to prepare you for the next stage of your lives. We are certain that through your hard work and with your participation in the many opportunities and experiences that AUS offers, you have attained the requisite knowledge and the essential life-skills that will help you succeed in whatever profession or endeavor that you chose to pursue," said the Chancellor.
He told the graduating class that they were now ready to move to the next stage of their lives, to begin a new journey of discovery. "It may well be difficult for many of you to imagine how your journey will progress. I know that some of you will follow paths that you have already long considered and worked hard to prepare. For others of you, the paths that life opens up to you have yet to be defined. Whatever you end up doing, I hope that you pursue your activities with ambition, with passion, and with a keen sense of adventure. Realize as well that pursuing your dream may require a great deal of hard work," he said.
"Wherever your dreams or aspirations may lead you, rest assured that your university will follow your lives and your careers with great interest. From the AUS Alumni Association, you will find support both from your fellow graduates and from your university," said Dr. Heath. He urged all members of the graduating class to live their lives in accordance with principles and values that AUS has instilled during their years at the university: personal integrity, social responsibility, hard work and care for their fellow human beings.
The breakdown of the graduates is as follows:
- Total number of graduating students: 492
- Number of undergraduate students receiving degrees: 437
- Number of graduate students receiving degrees: 55
- Number of male graduate and undergraduate students: 278
- Number of female graduate and undergraduate students: 214
- Total number of UAE nationals: 81
A breakdown of the graduating class by college/school is as follows:
- College of Architecture, Art and Design: (23 undergraduate and 2 graduate)
- College of Arts and Sciences: (58 undergraduate and 10 graduate)
- College of Engineering: (238 undergraduate and 31 graduate)
- School of Business and Management: (118 undergraduate and 12 graduate)
Sultan Al Memari, the Class of Fall 2011's designated speaker at the ceremony, welcomed the guests on behalf of the graduates. He tailored his speech around his degree in architecture. "True, we are not all graduating with architecture degrees, but we are all the architects of our lives, from health to business, from families to society itself. We are the builders. And here's an architectural fact: success in building relies on sound foundations. And this is as true for people as it is for buildings," he said.
"Until now, we've had our foundation laid for us, and we've been given the tools. Now we decide what to do with them. And whatever we choose to build in our world now will, at the same time, turn around and build us. Our actions will build our character and our legacy," he said. "We have earned this moment by growing, learning and working hard these many years to build those dreams. This is the architecture of life."
"I'm thrilled to reach this milestone, this completion with all of you as graduates. I'm thrilled to begin my career in architecture. But I'm even more thrilled to know that we're going to build our nation and our world together, and that we have the capacity to build for good," concluded Al Memari.
Before his address, Al Memari also recited a special poem, dedicated to the Sharjah Ruler, which wished him health and praised his wisdom and continuous support for his people.
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.