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440 AUD graduates receive their degrees.

Dubai: Another batch from the American University in Dubai (AUD) bid farewell to their alma mater, stepping out to face the world and embrace its opportunities.

Around 440 undergraduate and graduate students from nearly 50 different nationalities received their US-accredited degrees yesterday from His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai yesterday (Sunday).

The 18th commencement ceremony was held under the patronage of Shaikh Mohammad and was also attended by a large number of guests, including dignitaries and other prominent members of the UAE community.

Making his opening remarks at the ceremony, Elias Bu Saab, Executive Vice-President at AUD, attributed the rapid development and evolution of Dubai to the vision and farsightedness of Shaikh Mohammad.

"We have witnessed a record achievement with the rapid development of Dubai into a major global centre, an achievement not only in first-class infrastructure but also in the development of an education system, medical system and full service economy that is sustainable, safe, diverse and innovative. Dubai and the UAE are viewed in a new league and are an example for the modern world," he told the audience.

Bu Saab said that AUD has witnessed and admired this revolution and asked the graduates to always learn how to chase their dreams and confront future challenges.

"You have all learnt from Shaikh Mohammad how to dream big, think big, and achieve big. You should always find a way to achieve your dreams, work hard for them and never give up. The more persistent you are, the more likely you are to succeed," he said.

Addressing Shaikh Mohammad, Bu Saab thanked him for all the effort he has put into making education available for free for many students.

"AUD has graduated in total more than 5,000 students. More than 1,500 students have graduated from AUD because of scholarships carrying the name of Shaikh Mohammad. Each year, we offer over Dh32 million in scholarships and we are proud to say that our graduates now hold leadership positions both in the UAE and around the globe, "he said.

Wael Bu Ajram, who was selected as the valedictorian this year, told the audience how much he has learnt from Shaikh Mohammad and how it feels to finish university.

"During our time at AUD, we graduates have matured and developed. And so has Dubai. We've overcome obstacles with grace and determination and so has Dubai. At the centre of these two parallel paths -- the path of AUD graduates and the path of Dubai -- stands Your Highness. Your leadership, commitment, and generosity have been the link between these two roads, and I experienced this generosity myself when I was granted your scholarship to attend AUD. So I'd like to thank you for being the role model that you are and for always teaching us to win, be victorious, and to love."

Bu Ajram said he looks forward to an exciting new phase, and I am so very confident that we can overcome life's obstacles as long as we never lose the values that AUD has embedded within our DNA."

The students received US-accredited degrees in the fields of architecture, business administration, communication and information studies, computer and information technology, construction management, education engineering, interior design, international studies and visual communication.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:May 11, 2015
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