ABU DHABI, 4th June 2016 (WAM) – Since its establishment, AUS has been envisaged as an institution of excellence designed to meet the present and future needs of society, said His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah, and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), at the AUS Spring 2016 graduation ceremony held today, June 4, at University City Hall, Sharjah.

A total of 547 undergraduate and graduate candidates participated in the Spring 2016 commencement ceremony.

Congratulating the Class of Spring 2016, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah said in his opening speech, “You are part of the university’s mission of seeking excellence and achieving goals. I urge you to continue setting goals for yourself throughout your career, and to serve your nations using the academic and practical knowledge you have acquired at this university.”

His Highness also shared the university’s plans to be organically linked with the economic, cultural, scientific and industrial sectors of society in fruitful cooperation. “Sharjah has recently launched Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), based at AUS, to further boost economic development in the emirate of Sharjah,” said Sheikh Dr. Sultan. “AUS will help establish a culture of entrepreneurship and support the creation of a framework to enhance Sharjah’s reputation as a leader in the field of innovation in the region. The university has also launched a chair in family business, the first of its kind in the country, as a step towards becoming a recognized family business knowledge hub in the national, regional and international context.”

“The university has also launched the AUS Interactive Trading Floor (ITF) at the School of Business Administration (SBA), the first of its kind in the MENA region. The ITF is a sophisticated facility that incorporates live tools and software to extend theory into practice in a fast-paced, applied environment,” added His Highness.

The Sharjah Ruler also informed the guests about the university’s increasing emphasis on research and scholarship in all fields.

He concluded his speech by thanking members of the Broad of Trustees, the faculty members and the university’s administration for their sincere efforts and their contributions in developing the university.

During his opening remarks, AUS Chancellor Dr. Bj?rn Kjerfve said, “For us at AUS, as well as for the families of our graduates, today is a day of immense pride as we see 547 of our brightest make their way into the world, armed with the knowledge and skills acquired during their years at this university and becoming AUS alumni.”

“As we conclude the 19th year in the life of AUS, we are proud to see the university progressing on the path charted by our Founder and President His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan. His vision to establish a world-class educational institution has become reality. As one of the best institutions of higher learning in the region, AUS is committed to reviving the spirit of enquiry, innovation and advancement that was the hallmark of this region as a whole and an emblem of the Golden Age of Islam,” said Dr. Kjerfve.

“Graduates, you are now among more than 11,000 AUS alumni spread all across the world. Your progress and success in life will always be a source of great pride for AUS, your alma mater, and you are from now on an integral part of the AUS family and also a member of the AUS Alumni Association. I encourage you to keep in touch with your university and pledge scholarships or other support to those AUS students who will come after you,” concluded Chancellor Kjerfve.

The breakdown of the graduates is as follows: Total number of graduating students: 547 Number of undergraduate students receiving degrees: 458 Number of graduate students receiving degrees: 89 Number of male graduates: 238 Number of female graduates: 309 Total number of UAE nationals graduating: 64 A breakdown of the graduating class by college/school is as follows: College of Architecture, Art and Design: 90 undergraduate and 12 graduate College of Arts and Sciences: 71 undergraduate and 11 graduate College of Engineering: 173 undergraduate and 40 graduate School of Business Administration: 124 undergraduate and 26 graduate The student speaker at the ceremony, Omar Abdulaziz Almutawa, expressed his pride in becoming an AUS alumni and said, “I am proud and grateful to call myself an AUS graduate because of AUS’ commitment and hard work. AUS is special because its professors, staff, and students have all taken full advantage of opportunities in and outside the scope of University City.”

Almutawa, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, addressed his peers and concluded his speech by saying, “As we leave AUS, we must take with us what we have learned during our time here. These lessons are what distinguish us from others in a highly competitive and globalized job market. More importantly, these lessons have significantly shaped who we have become as human beings.”

Sakeena Khalid Khatri, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a minor in Actuarial Mathematics, was declared the recipient of the President’s Cup for achieving the highest grade point average. Noora Abdulla Alqasemi, graduating Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering degree, received the Chancellor’s Cup for exhibiting an outstanding combination of academic excellence, general character and service to university.

On behalf of the Student Council and the graduating Class of 2016, Chancellor Kjerfve presented His Highness with a portrait of His Highness overlaid with Arabic calligraphy created by design management student Ali Ahmed Abdulaziz Kashwani.

Founded in 1997, AUS has fulfilled His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan’s vision of a quality institution catering to the aspirations and needs of the UAE and the wider Gulf community as a whole. Over the past decade, the student body increased considerably, necessitating the launch of two graduation ceremonies per year.

WAM/bashir