Awards Ceremony Honors Distinguished Student, Alumni Athletes
In this year’s annual athletics awards ceremony, AUC acknowledged and honored student and alumni athletes for their numerous sporting achievements throughout the past academic year.
A total of 116 students were recognized at the ceremony, including the five students and two alumni who participated in the Rio 2016 Olympics, as well as student Nouran Gohar, the 2015 and 2016 World Junior Squash Champion.
“Here at AUC,” said President Francis J. Ricciardone at the ceremony, “we don’t just teach in the classroom, we refer to the AUC experience, and in that experience we aim to teach, develop and nurture leadership. Leadership is not something you just develop in a curriculum; we do it in extracurricular activities. The athletes we are celebrating today are the leaders of this great country being developed and nurtured before our eyes.”
Louise Bertini, director of athletics, elaborated on some of AUC’s many athletic successes, such as winning 26 medals in the National Universities Tournament, eight medals in The American College of Greece International Sports Festival last March, and 38 medals, 20 of which were gold, in The American University of Beirut President’s Club International Sports Tournament last semester. The women’s rugby team was also recognized at the awards ceremony for winning, for the first time, the amateur Middle East Division in the Dubai Rugby Sevens last December.
“We are proud of the accomplishments of AUC student and alumni athletes,” said Minister of Youth and Sports Khaled Abdel Aziz at the ceremony. “I am also happy to see AUC participating in the athletic activities and competitions that are organized by the ministry for universities. We look forward to more achievements from AUC students.” In addition to the minister, the ceremony was also attended by President of the Egyptian Olympics Committee Hesham Hatab, Vice President of the Egyptian Olympic Committee Alaa Meshref, and Board Member of the Egyptian Olympic Committee. Sherif El Erian.
Demonstrating the importance of balancing academics and athletics, the ceremony also honored the women and men’s teams with the highest GPAs. For the female students, the tennis and frisbee teams held the two highest GPAs, both with a cumulative 3.8 average, and for male students, the squash team achieved the highest cumulative GPA of 3.45. The awards also recognized seven exceptional student athletes who have a current cumulative 4.0 GPA.
Nouran Mostafa, a student tennis player who was named AUC’s female athlete of the year, reflected on her time participating in athletics at AUC. “As a graduating senior, it was an honor to be presented with such an award. Playing on the AUC tennis team was one of my favorite and most rewarding experiences as an undergraduate, allowing me to develop significantly both as an athlete and a student.”
Acknowledging the national support that AUC athletics receives, Bertini said, “We are happy to have the support of the Ministry of Youth and the Olympic Committee, not only for their attendance, but for their continuous support and cooperation to our students and to AUC.”
Speaking directly to the AUC athletes, Bertini added, “Your achievement is a testament to your dedication, your families and what you bring to this community. You are AUC."