Sheikha Dana Nasser Al-Sabah Keynote Speaker at AUK’s Graduation Ceremony
AUK hosted its graduation commencement for the class of 2021 on Wednesday, 1st of December and Thursday, 2nd of December conferring the degrees on 385 graduates—124 of which were from the College of Arts and Sciences, 117 from the College of Business and Economics, and 144 from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Amongst the 2021 cohort, 8 graduates were awarded highest honors (summa cum laude), 15 awarded high honors (Magna cum laude), and 15 awarded honors (Cum laude).
Held at the AUK central garden, at the heart of the historical Salmiya campus, the graduation ceremony was attended by Sheikha Dana Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, founder, and chair of AUK's Board of Trustees, members of the AUK Board of Trustees, diplomats, dignitaries, and the parents of this year's graduates.
Following the National Anthem and the Holy Quran recitation, AUK president, Dr. Rawda Awwad gave a speech that affirmed the graduates’ new role as alumni within the University community, “We are here to celebrate this evening our graduates. They have earned their prominence in an exceptionally tight knit university community, who cared about them as students, and will now cherish them as alumni. For our university, the AUK alumni matters because that is where AUK will make the real difference in the lives of people that are even out of its reach,” she said.
Keynote speaker, Sheikha Dana Nasser Al-Sabah, AUK founder and chairwoman of the Board of Trustees, addressed the graduates across the two ceremonies, praising them on their resilience throughout the pandemic, “Today, we are celebrating a cohort of university graduates who have passed the toughest of all tests—learned lessons that are not scribed in books, thought of solutions to real-life challenges, and became the ambassadors of our university mission to create meaningful change in the world,” she said.
As graduates celebrate their achievements, Al-Sabah reminded them of the importance of honoring those who inspired their success and helped them materialize their vision “… On a personal level, I would like to pay tribute to my late grandfather His Highness the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and my late father, Shaikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. They inspired my love for education. I remember them sharing with me that the future of Kuwait lies in the hands of a well-rounded educated generation capable of innovation and change where everyone is compelled to participate, and no one is left behind. His Highness the late Emir, was recognized on the world stage as a great humanitarian. He insisted that Kuwait play a critical role in helping other nations in dealing with issues such as hunger, disease, and natural disasters. My late father, Sheikh Nasser, instilled in me the appreciation of art in all its forms and recognized the importance of culture and the preservation of the past as a critical driving force for our future,” said Al-Sabah
Following the keynote address, the class valedictorian was announced by Dr. Hanan Muzaffar, vice president for student affairs—Habeebah Anwar earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media with a 3.99GPA. She worked as a writing consultant at AUK’s Writing Center and interned at the University’s Office of PR & Marketing. During her speech, she emphasized that the collective support she had received from the University enabled her to make this impressive achievement, “My GPA does not necessarily reflect my effort on an individual basis, but it is rather the combined efforts of so many people who helped me reach this stage . . . There’s also the parents and siblings that supported us. The departments that would respond in record time to inquiries we had and all the reassurances they sent. The staff that worked so hard to make sure this campus was always clean, tidy, and organized,” she said. Habeebah also addressed her fellow graduates with an encouraging statement to pursue their goals, “Always remember that effort never goes to waste.”
The event then proceeded to the part of the ceremony most anticipated by the students—the distribution of their earned degrees. Upon, the recommendations of the deans, President Awwad conferred upon the graduates their respective degrees. The graduates were then awarded their diplomas by President Awwad, Sheikha Dana Nasser Al-Sabah, and respective college deans.
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 parents.
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