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AUK Holds its Annual Commencement Under the Patronage of HH the Prime Minister

AUK held its annual graduation commencement for the Class of 2016 on Thursday June 5th, where 367 students officially became AUK graduates, amongst whom where 24 graduates with honors, 21 with high honors and 6 with highest honors. The ceremony was held under the patronage of His Highness, Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of Kuwait's Council of Ministers, and was attended by His Excellency Dr. Bader Al-Essa, Minister of Education and Higher Education; Professor Dr. Habib Abul, Secretary General of Private Universities; and Shaikha Dana Naser Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Founder and Chair of AUK's Board of Trustees, along with members of the AUK Board of Trustees, diplomats, dignitaries, and the families and friends of this year's graduates.

Ms. Amal Al-Binali, Vice President for Admissions & Public Affairs, welcomed the guests and family members of the graduates to AUK's 11th graduation ceremony and officially inaugurated the ceremony by introducing the traditional processionals of the faculty and graduates. After the processional, all attendees were asked to rise for the National Anthem, which was followed by a recitation of verses from the Holy Quran that emphasized the value of education for humanity.

In his opening remarks, Professor Dr. Nizar Hamzeh addressed the graduates and congratulated them for their successful completion of an important phase in their lives. In his speech, Hamzeh explained that education is a bundle of learnt experiences and self-disciplines that stay with the graduates for life. "We set out to prepare leaders who will excel in their fields and apply the critical thinking skills they acquired from the liberal arts education they received at AUK to make the best decisions that will benefit their countries and communities. I am confident in your abilities and believe in each of you to carry on AUK's legacy of producing strong and successful alumni," he said.

President Hamzeh then invited this year's keynote speaker, H.E. Dr. Bader Al-Essa, to stage to deliver his keynote address.

The Minister of Education and Higher Education, Dr. Bader Al-Eissa addressed the graduates saying, "It is a great honor to have His Highness the Prime Minister, Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah present to celebrate the sons and daughters of this dear nation."

Dr. Eissa congratulated the students on achieving their goal of graduating with academic and professional skills that they could utilize in the future, "As it is their duty now to contribute to the development of this country."

Following the keynote address, Dr. Hanan Muzaffar, the Dean of Student Affairs, addressed the attendees and the graduates. "We are confident that they will excel in whichever path their future leads them to, for we were witness to this excellence while being honored to nourish it in the last few years. This group has often been vital in enriching our lives at AUK, staff and faculty alike, and here we are today, ready to follow their progress as they move to enrich your lives," Dean Muzaffar said.

Dr. Muzaffar then announced this year's valedictorians, Batul Sadliwala from the College of Arts & Sciences, who earned the valedictorian distinction with a 4.0 GPA, and Sara Lobbad from the College of Business & Economics, who earned the valedictorian distinction with a GPA of 3.99, and invited Sadliwala to deliver a speech to her peers and guests.

In her speech, Sadliwala explained that her experience at AUK was one that exposed her to a diverse community of talented individuals who challenged, motivated and mentored her throughout the past four years. "Everyday, we embrace and celebrate the diversity amongst our ranks. And as we leave here today, my fellow graduates, let us make a promise to always remember that celebration, to remember that difference is always enriching," she said.

Following the Valedictorian remarks, H.H. Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah; H.E. Dr. Bader Hamad Al-Essa; and Professor Dr. Nizar Hamzeh were invited to present the graduation diplomas for the AUK Honors graduates

The event then proceeded to the part of the ceremony most anticipated by the students; the distribution of their earned degrees. The Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Rawda Awwad, recommended the conferral of degrees for the graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences, while Dean of the College of Business & Economics, Dr. Jin Wang, recommended the conferral of degrees for the graduates of the College of Business & Economics to President Hamzeh, who then conferred upon the graduates their respective degrees. The graduates were then awarded their bachelor's degree diplomas by Dr. Hamzeh, H.E. Dr. Bader Al-Essa, Dean Rawda Awwad, and Dean Jin Wang.

In keeping with the academic tradition, the graduates were requested to shift their tassels from right to left, thereby marking their official graduation from AUK. As the ceremony drew to its conclusion, the graduating class celebrated the occasion and took photos with their families and friends.

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Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 8th June 2016

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