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AUD Holds Twenty-First Commencement Ceremony
The UAE Government’s Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence as keynote speaker
24/05/2018
“Every generation sets out to right the wrongs of the world.”
- President Lance de Masi
“Use your higher self to live your life breathing this notion.”
– Keynote Speaker H.E. Omar Al Olama
 
Under the Patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the American University in Dubai (AUD) held its Twenty-First Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The ceremony was held in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who honored students with the distribution of diplomas.
 
After the National Anthem of the UAE and the Star-Spangled Banner were played, Mr. Elias Bou Saab, Executive Vice President of AUD, opened the ceremony with tokens of encouragement to the graduating class, citing their journey’s success as a result of their own endeavors as well as the exemplary vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Encouraging the graduating class to continue learning, he stated, “embrace what Dubai has offered you, learn and grow from it, as it is an experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world.”

Mr. Elias Bou Saab proudly welcomed back an AUD alumnus as the keynote speaker, H.E. Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, on stage. H.E. Omar Al Olama, who is the incumbent Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, is tasked with investing and integrating artificial intelligence technologies into the public and private sector.
 
As a strategic overseer of Dubai’s planning and integration of the latest technologies of the future, H.E. Omar Al Olama delivered an insightful speech to the attendees and the graduating class that highlighted his recipe for success in life. H.E. Omar Al Olama reminded the graduating class to never stop dreaming, “This mindset should be your guiding star, use your higher self to live your life breathing this notion that no dream is too big to achieve.”

Following H.E. Omar Al Olama’s words of encouragement and inspiration, Dr. Lance de Masi, AUD’s President, along with H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, H.E. Omar Al Olama, and Mr. Elias Bou Saab conferred the diplomas to the graduating students and congratulated them on their success. The graduates received American-accredited degrees in the fields of Architecture, Business Administration, Communication and Information Studies, Construction Management, Education, Engineering, Interior Design, International Studies, and Visual Communication.

Throughout the plethora of academic merits offered to numerous graduating students, the distinction of Valedictorian of the Class of 2018 was conferred to Ms. Maria Chakib Bejjani, a Lebanese student graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. The Valedictorian expressed her heartfelt appreciation to her professors and family for their tireless support and encouragement. She also addressed her fellow colleagues with zeal for the future, citing “If we all follow the path that we are passionate about, then we will end up in great places.”

 AUD President Lance de Masi closed the ceremony with a speech that inspired the youth of today to persevere in the face of skepticisms. Rather than be deterred by their vices, he advocates they embraces their virtues and to carry that into the future. Placing his faith in the youth of today, Dr. Lance de Masi cites “your inherent kindness, coupled with a concern for the human condition, are among your defining virtues. How will you use them? Every generation sets out to right the wrongs of the world. Many get disillusioned along the way. But your convictions are intense, and data and technology empower you in ways until now inconceivable.”

An audience of around 4,000, including several dignitaries and other prominent members of the local UAE Community, attended the ceremony at which around 400 undergraduate and graduate students from nearly 50 different nationalities received their American-accredited degrees in the fields of Architecture, Business Administration, Communication and Information Studies, Construction Management, Education, Engineering, Interior Design, International Studies, and Visual Communication.
 
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