The American University in Dubai held its Fourth Commencement Exercises under the Patronage of HH General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defense Minister.
Senator George J. Mitchell , former US Senate Majority Leader; Chairman, Peace Negotiations - Northern Ireland; Chairman, International Fact Finding Committee - Palestine was the Keynote Speaker at the June 5 event.
George J. Mitchell was appointed to the United States Senate in 1980. He was elected to a full term in the Senate in 1982 in a stunning come-from-behind victory. After trailing in public opinion polls by thirty-six points, Senator Mitchell rallied to win the election, receiving sixty-one percent of the votes cast. Senator Mitchell went on to an illustrious career in the Senate spanning fourteen years.
In 1988, he was reelected with eighty-one percent of the vote, the largest margin in Maine history. He left the Senate in 1995 as the Senate Majority leader, a position he had held since January 1989. For six consecutive years, he was voted "the most respected member" of the Senate.
Senator Mitchell is the author of four books. With his colleague, Senator Bill Cohen of Maine , he wrote Men of Zeal, describing the Iran-Contra investigation. In 1990, Senator Mitchell wrote, World on Fire , describing the threat of the greenhouse effect and recommending steps to curb it. His next book, published in 1997, was Not For America Alone: The Triumph of Democracy and The Fall of Communism . In 1999, Senator Mitchell wrote Making Peace , an account of his experience in Northern Ireland .
An audience of approximately 1,000, including several dignitaries and other prominent members of the local UAE community, attended the ceremony at which eighty-six undergraduate and graduate students received their American-accredited degrees. Among this group were students receiving the Associate of Arts (AA) degree, Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) across various concentrations; and those receiving the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Visual Communication and Interior Design. All graduate students received the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. These degrees were conferred under the authority granted by the Education Licensure Commission of Washington, DC ( USA ).
Three students were honored for achieving the highest academic standing in each of the University's degree-granting disciplines: Aarti Gurbaxani (Visual Communication), Wafa Al Qasimi (Interior Design) and Rana Haddad (Business Administration).
Valedictorian honors were granted to Mitra Bazargan (Visual Communication) who addressed the convocation on behalf of the class.