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Sultan 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), expressed satisfaction at the university's continued progress year after year as it moved steadily towards becoming a leader in the field of higher education and scientific research. He said this during his address at the Spring 2015 Commencement ceremony of the university held today, June 13, 2015, at University City Hall, Sharjah. Also present on the occasion were His Excellency Sheikh Ahmad Bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.
More than 500 students graduated in various majors offered by the university at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
"I'm happy to be among you on this happy occasion and to share your feelings of joy and pride and to congratulate your parents and families on your success and achievement," began the Sharjah Ruler.
"Since its very inception, AUS has been keen to encourage its distinguished students and faculty members to pursue research and development by providing a stimulating environment that offers financial and academic support as well as time for their respective research endeavors. This has enabled the university to successfully plant the seeds of scientific research," said His Highness.
Sheikh Dr. Sultan then went on to mention a few examples to illustrate his point. "You will be happy to know that AUS has a considerable number of its graduates occupying leading positions in the Emirates Mars Exploration Mission, 'The Hope.' This is an important indication of the level and competency of our students and the high quality of education the university provides them," he stated.
The Sharjah Ruler also shared with the audience the work of faculty and students who are developing a chemotherapy treatment targeting cancer cells by using ultrasound in order to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. "Another AUS team comprising faculty and student researchers is working on energy harvesting technology that will benefit several sectors such as biomedical medicines and construction," added His Highness.
As parting words of advice, Sheikh Dr. Sultan said, "Your education and experiences here have equipped you well to serve your respective societies. I hope you will work hard and succeed in becoming productive and contributing members of society."
Dr. Björn Kjerfve, Chancellor of AUS, also addressed the graduates, congratulating them on their success. In his remarks, Dr. Kjerfve shared with audience members the university's plan of setting up the Research, Technology and Innovation Park (RTI Park) just west of campus. "Research, along with innovation and entrepreneurship, is an essential tool that can help forge a brighter future. Towards this aim, AUS has embarked upon an ambitious project that aims to tie academic research with industry and technology," said Dr. Kjerfve.
"The right blend of academic research and input coupled with entrepreneurial support can lay a strong foundation upon which to build a knowledge-based economy. We are committed to making the RTI Park a beacon that will put Sharjah on the map as the region's technology leader. And with PhD programs forthcoming, AUS is strategically placed to become a leading research institution, drawing upon the expertise of its highly qualified international faculty members who come from more than 50 nations across the world," added the Chancellor.
Dr. Kjerfve then conveyed to the graduates that AUS would always be proud of their success. "As you join the ranks of the more than 10,000 AUS alumni spread across the world, please remember that you are an integral member of the AUS family, and an alumnus. Don't forget to stay in touch with your alma mater, join the AUS Alumni Association, and pledge to support and assist those AUS students who will follow in your footsteps."
The breakdown of the graduates is as follows:
Total number of graduating students: 547
Number of undergraduate students receiving degrees: 469
Number of graduate students receiving degrees: 78
Number of male graduate and undergraduate students: 234
Number of female graduate and undergraduate students: 313
Total number of UAE nationals: 91
A breakdown of the graduating class by college/school is as follows:
College of Architecture, Art and Design: (105 undergraduate and 1 graduate)
College of Arts and Sciences: (75 undergraduate and 7 graduate)
College of Engineering: (180 undergraduate and 49 graduate)
School of Business Administration: (109 undergraduate and 21 graduate)
The student speaker at the ceremony was Sara Halawa who thanked His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan for giving students the opportunity to attain an exceptional education by establishing AUS, which now ranks among the most prominent universities in the Middle East. "One of the many reasons behind this title is the immense dedication contributed by our beloved faculty and staff, and of course the top notch graduates who owe their success to their education. Though the university was built 18 years ago, with every graduating student an invisible brick is added, adding to the credibility of AUS."
Halawa expressed her appreciation of the parents present. "'You were right;' three words every child dreads to admit to their parents. But today we stand with hearts full of gratitude telling them, 'you were right when you forced us to wake up to go to school, you were right for all those times you made us stay home and study, you were right when you told us we would do better next time. You were right.' On behalf of everyone I would like to thank every parent for their utmost support, care and love; we would not be here today if it weren't for you."
"The future that awaits us resembles a kaleidoscope; the pictures are very vague because, of course, none of us know what the future holds, but the colors are very bright and promising," she concluded.
vEiman Elghanam, who graduated with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering, was declared the recipient of the President's Cup for achieving the highest grade point average while Moataz Abdrabou, a chemical engineering graduate, received the Chancellor's Cup for exhibiting an outstanding combination of academic excellence, general character and service to university.
His Highness was also presented with a special memento, a painting of Al Noor Mosque done by AUS professor Dr. Martin Giesen.
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 6,000 students and a full-time faculty of more than 350 highly trained men and women.
The ceremony was also attended by senior government officials; members of the AUS Board of Trustees; faculty and staff; and members of the public.