ConGrads Class of 2019!
The Class of Fall 2019 commencement doesn’t just conicide with the kickoff of the centennial festivities next month celebrating AUC’s 100th birthday, but it is also the last midyear commencement and the first school-based commencement in the history of AUC before the University completes the transition to a once-per-year model that ensures a more intimate and enhanced experience for students and their families.
On January 28 and 29, AUC hosted four school-based commencements, honoring the 470 undergraduates, 150 master's students and five PhD candidates who received their degrees at AUC’s Fall 2019 commencement ceremonies and are excited to go out into the real world, cap off their AUC experience while proudly representing the University in their various fields #MakingAUCProud. The highest number of graduates were holders of the Bachelor of Business Administration, followed by graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
With the school-based commencement model, one student from each school represented his/her class:
School of Business
Class representative Mohamed Kandil, who received a Bachelor of Business Administration, began his speech by asking his fellow classmates and audience members to recall one important decision they’ve made that has significantly affected their lives.
“What we have to do is take responsibility for our decisions and not dwell on the past," Kandil said. "Speaking of the past, four years ago I had the opportunity to study abroad, but a few things happened and I decided to stay. I think many people here can relate. “Now I’m not going tell you it was the right decision because really nobody knows. But as of this moment, I have no regrets about any of my decisions, and really none of us should either. Your decisions have shaped the person you are, and that person is graduating today.”
Kandil also seized the opportunity to thank his classmates for all the memories, bonds and lessons that helped him grow. He ended his speech with the core lesson of his experience at AUC: “Life goes on, so seize the moment and make the most of your decisions.”
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Class representative Hanan Rashwan, who received a Bachelor of Arts in English and comparative literature, emphasized how "timing is everything," focusing on the power of time and how one's sense of time varies in different stages .
“Time has a different meaning when you’re young and carefree. ... Children don’t have a sense of time," she said. "The older you get, however, the more important it becomes to understand that you never know just how much time you have,” she said.
“As graduates ..., we have acquired timeless values that will benefit us throughout our entire lives," Rashwan added. “From Cultural Anthropology to World Philosophy, we are taught to not only respect, but also to celebrate diversity."
School of Sciences and Engineering
AlGhurair STEM Scholar Kawthar Ali spoke about her journey from Yemen to AUC, culminating in her Master of Science in electronics and communications engineering.
“Coming from a war-torn country," Ali said, "I could never look at university studies as a purely academic affair to prepare me in my chosen field per se, but it is more of a comprehensive learning experience to prepare me to face the challenges faced by our generation in the Arab region."
“The girl who stands here before you today is certainly not the girl who came to AUC two years ago,” Ali continued. “AUC has opened up a whole vista that I could look through and learn extramurally within the campus. Meeting industry professionals through the Career Center and taking on work-study positions have exposed me to the professional world.”
School of Global Affairs and Public Policy:
While the Class of 2019 is witnessing the beginning of AUC’s centennial celebrations, the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy is also celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Class representative Reem Shalan, who received a Master of Global Affairs, emphasized the window of opportunity that AUC offers. "Whether you obtain your bachelor’s or your master’s today, know that it is through continuing to develop, and investing in yourself that doors will continue to open for you,” said Shalan. “Options will always be made available to those that continue to seek knowledge and growth, leading to a meaningful presence in life.”