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American University of Kuwait Graduation Ceremony 2012

Mishref, Kuwait, May 31, 2012: The Graduation Ceremony of the Class of 2012 at the American University of Kuwait (AUK) took place at Kuwait International Fairgrounds (KIF) at 10 am on Thursday, May 31. The ceremony commenced with the Kuwaiti national anthem and a recitation of the Holy Quran. Graduates then began to march towards the stage waving to their friends and families as they took their seats. AUK President Dr. Winfred Thompson then welcomed students, and their families to the ceremony along with several board members and numerous dignitaries and diplomats.

Photo Gallery: AUK Graduation 2012 (Best viewed on Google Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer)

In his opening remarks, Dr. Thompson spoke of the role AUK plays in contributing to Kuwaiti society saying, "The University presents itself to you as an important institution in Kuwaiti society, fulfilling a special role of providing a liberal arts education to a new generation of Kuwaitis and expatriate residents." He went on to congratulate the students and their parents on this great achievement as well as AUK faculty and staff for their contributions to the educational process.

The President then introduced the keynote speaker, Sheikha Al-Zain Al-Sabah. Al-Sabah is the producer of several award-winning news stories and feature films; as well as a prominent voice of social corporate responsibility and value-based leadership. As Chairperson and Managing Director of Eagle Vision Media Group, she is actively rallying to transform the local visual storytelling community into a quality-based internationally recognizable industry. Job creation and training are central to her mission, and she utilizes her experience in media to build viable platforms on which to support and nurture Kuwait's creative community. In her speech Al-Sabah drew on her experience and the life lessons. She stressed that each graduate should "dream big, and start small" because life is still full of unexplored opportunities. In her opinion, one can be creative in any field regardless of his/her educational degree. Al-Sabah encouraged graduates to be courageous enough to "reassess their plans" and follow their "heart & intuition". Finally, she advised graduates to stick to people who can "challenge and inspire" them and back them up during their future journeys.

Vice President of Administrative and Student Affairs Dr. Carol Ross-Scott then introduced the Class of 2012 Valedictorians, Amineh Eida, Rasha Abdelhadi and Nada Bedir. Amineh gave the valedictorian speech on behalf of the others, after a University Committee was convened to decide among the three.

Amineh rose to the podium to deliver her speech, which was both inspiring and motivational. She emphasized the importance of chasing one's dreams through hard work and dedication saying, "Believe in your dreams! Fulfill your dreams and create even more dreams! What got us here today was one of those dreams and what will get us somewhere in the future maybe a similar dream." Amineh concluded her speech by thanking all the parents, guardians and AUK faculty and staff members that have helped the graduates throughout their journey.

Amineh Eida is graduating with a BBA degree in Accounting and has earned a cumulative grade point average of 4.0 Summa Cum Laude (with the greatest honor).

Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Nizar Hamzeh recommended the conferral of degrees for the graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences, while Dean of the College of Business and Economy recommended the conferral of degrees for the graduates of the College of Business and Economy, to President Thompson who then conferred upon the 435 graduates their respective degrees. Graduates were then presented with their bachelor's degree diploma by President Thompson, Dr. Doug Munro and Dr. Nizar Hamzeh, and in keeping with the academic tradition, the graduates were asked to move their tassels from right to left, thereby marking their official graduation from AUK.

The ceremony also included the traditional cutting of the Class of 2012 cake, and professional photography was provided for all graduates and their families and friends.

Images from the Event

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 4th June 2012

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