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AUK Holds 11th Annual Convocation Ceremony

Convocation ceremonies mark the official commencements of academic years. This year, the American University of Kuwait (AUK) held its 11th Annual Undergraduate First-Year Student Convocation ceremony to welcome the Class of 2018 into the new phase of their lives. The ceremony formally introduced the new students to the University and familiarized them with its seal, traditions and symbols that represent what AUK stands for. Over 300 first-year students attended the ceremony, in which the AUK President, Professor Dr. Nizar Hamzeh, along with the Vice Presidents and Deans of the colleges, welcomed them to AUK.

The convocation commenced with Kuwait's national anthem. Ali Kelkawi, Class of 2017, welcomed the attendees on behalf of AUK's current student body, and invited President Hamzeh to deliver his address.

"This is a big time of year for everyone on campus, but most especially, of course, for our new students, their families and their friends. And it's an important time, for embarking on an education at AUK means more than simply going to classes, studying, taking tests, and perfecting technical skills," President Hamzeh told the attendees. "I realize that each student is unique and, as a university, we strive to maximize that unique potential. I'm pleased that we're embarking on this journey together. Take it from me - you're about to have the time of your life."

Following his address, President Hamzeh invited Dr. Rawda Awwad, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, to explain to the attendees the first component of the AUK motto; "Learn. Think. Become."

"AUK makes available for you the possibility to make your dreams of the future a reality, and learning is certainly an important ingredient," said Dr. Awwad to the attendees. "It is the place and site where opportunities for learning are made available not solely within your courses and classes, but, equally important, in extra-curricular activities and in your interactions with your peers, faculty, staff and administrators," she explained.

Dr. Awwad then introduced Dr. John Russell, Interim Dean of the College of Business and Economics, to discuss the second component of the motto; "Think."

Dr. Russell encouraged the students to think outside the box, and not confine themselves to the walls of the disciplines they are studying and try to understand others and their disciplines. "Make an effort to understand different disciplines, subjects, and people; in doing so, you will understand others and help others understand you." He explained that in practicing this, individuals will be able to communicate more effectively.

The final component of the motto, "Become", was then discussed by Dr. Carol Ross-Scott, Vice President for Student Affairs.

"Your college education is an opportunity to become someone better. It is designed to bring out characteristics in you that you never imagined," explained the VP for Student Affairs. "Take this college opportunity to become self-confident. The more you learn; the more confident you "become". Become someone who will make a difference, absolutely refuse to be ordinary," she advised.

Following Dr. Ross-Scott, alumnus from AUK's first graduating class, Nasser Al-Qallaf, who is currently working as a Marketing Executive at the United Real-Estate Company, shared his experience as a student with the attendees. He explained to them that, as students, their overall experience at AUK depends on them and what they choose to make it. He reminded them that they are surrounded by a strong support team with Student Affairs, and to not forget that they have a voice that will always be heard

Tradition was observed as AUK faculty representatives explained the connotations of the AUK icons and symbols.

The AUK Seal is the most significant symbol of the University. It was explained in detail, covering all four major components of the Circle of Life, including the Book-which represents liberal arts and dedication to knowledge; Dhow-historical Kuwait's aspiration, exploration and tradition; Falcon-representing vision, courage and leadership; and the Torch of Wisdom that represents the freedom to purse the big questions of life.

Concluding the event, the Deans and the VP of Student Affairs ignited the flames of knowledge and wisdom, as a symbol of their significant partnership and commitment to the success of students. Candles were lit along the aisles of the auditorium marking the transfer of knowledge to the next AUK generation.

The Convocation Ceremony is the pinnacle event for the Annual Orientation and Welcome Week festivities for incoming students. During this week, many events were organized to welcome all students to the AUK community, including the Welcome Back Barbeque and Get Involved Fair. In addition, specific events were organized to help First Year students become familiar with the campus. The Convocation ceremony in particular, is designed to promote community unity and help students through their transition into University life at AUK.

Professor Dr. Nizar Hamzeh, President of AUK

Professor Dr. Nizar Hamzeh, President of AUK

Dr. Rawda Awwad, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. John Russell, Interim Dean of Business and Economics

Dr. Carol Ross, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dr. Ali Charara, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Nicholas Scull Assistant Dean - General Education and Student Academic Support

AUK Student Ali Kelkawi, Class of 2017

AUK Alumnus, Nasser Al-Qallaf

AUK faculty representative, Dr. George Bauer, explaining the connotations of the AUK icons and symbols

AUK faculty representative, Dr. Ayman Haddad, explaining the connotations of the AUK icons and symbols

AUK faculty representative, Dr. Karim Jallad, explaining the connotations of the AUK icons and symbols

AUK faculty representative, Dr. Athmar Al Salem

AUK officials lighting the candles of knowledge

Student audience

Student audience

AUK officials and faculty representatives

AUK officials and faculty representatives

AUK officials and faculty representatives

AUK officials and faculty representatives

AUK icons and symbols

Student Group Photo- Class-of-2018

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 15th October 2014

Photography by the Office of Public Affairs (C) 2014

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