Monday 19 April 2021 - 6:32:38 am

NYUAD to honour Class of 2020 via virtual commencement, Pulitzer Prize winner to deliver keynote


ABU DHABI, 12th May, 2020 (WAM) -- NYU Abu Dhabi has announced that it will hold a virtual commencement ceremony to celebrate and honour the Class of 2020 on 27th May.

In a statement, the university noted that this year’s ceremony will recognise the achievements of the Class of 2020 and feature inspirational remarks from NYU President Andy Hamilton, keynote speaker David Levering Lewis, Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann, and student speakers.

The commencement programme was developed in collaboration with representatives from the Class of 2020, most of whom have remained on campus this spring in response to global uncertainties at hand and given the broad global travel restrictions in place.

David Levering Lewis, who delivered the address for the first NYUAD convocation in 2010, is an author, Julius Silver University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at New York University, and a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his two-part biography of W. E. B. Du Bois.

This year’s commencement will also include a video tribute to the graduating class featuring past commencement speakers UAE Ambassador to the United States of America Yousef Al Otaiba, and Paralympic ski medallist and best-selling author Bonnie St-John, as well as other special guests.

NYU Abu Dhabi Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann said, "We are thrilled to celebrate the NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2020 with a commencement ceremony imbued with NYUAD energy and spirit, featuring inspiring words and fanfare to mark the great achievements of our graduating students."

"These are unprecedented times, but even if we can’t be together in person on 27th May, it is important that this incredible group of students has the opportunity to celebrate each other and be feted by friends and family from around the world. Our goal is to make this an unforgettable, joyous day for them, for their families, and for our whole community."

Speaking on behalf of the graduating class will be NYUAD student Lujain Ibrahim. Palestinian-Jordanian Ibrahim is graduating with a BS in Computer Engineering. During her time at NYUAD, she has served on the executive board of the women empowerment in STEM group and as the Engineering Student Representative on the Academics Board of Student Government.

Emirati student and 2020 UAE Rhodes Scholar Abdulla Alhashmi, who is graduating with a BA in Economics and Philosophy, will also offer brief welcome remarks.

The Class of 2020 is comprised of students from 75 countries, 90 percent of whom speak two or more languages.

Members of the Class of 2020 have won top global awards and accolades, including two Rhodes Scholars, one Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Scholar, and three Clinton Global Initiative University participants.

Graduating students have been invited to join global organisations, including Bain & Company in Tokyo, Japan; McKinsey and Company in Dubai, UAE; and Teach for America and Bloomberg in the United States. Many graduates will also be continuing their studies at prestigious universities, including the University of Oxford, Columbia University, MIT, and Stanford.

This ceremony will be NYUAD’s seventh Commencement since graduating its inaugural class in 2014.

WAM/Nour Salman