Sun 23-05-2021 13:21 PM
ABU DHABI, 23rd May, 2021 (WAM) -- New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) recently celebrated the Class of 2021 during the university’s eighth commencement ceremony. The virtual experience attracted a global audience of more than 4,000 graduates, friends, family, and members of the wider NYUAD and NYU communities.
Around 320 students representing more than 75 countries, who collectively speak over 70 languages, attended the ceremony.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president and winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, and Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, offered remarks to the graduating class.
Chair of the NYU Board of Trustees William R. Berkley; NYU President Andrew Hamilton; and NYU Abu Dhabi Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann officiated the virtual ceremony.
President Sirleaf said, "As ambassadors of NYU Abu Dhabi, you have to represent its commitment to inclusion, cohesion, and change. Therefore I urge you to set out to achieve the highest levels of your professions and to continue to distinguish yourselves as change-makers. Never settle for what the existing conditions around you may be knowing you can change it for the better."
Al Amiri, in turn, commented, "Over the past year humanity had to reconsider old ways of thinking and the pursuit of knowledge and truth. It was also a year that celebrated curiosity, brought hope which turned into reality, and one that transformed an entire community when three spacecraft from three different countries arrived at Mars. The Class of 2021 have lived through this unprecedented time in history, they have risen to the occasion, with their ability to adapt, rethink and thrive in the face of adversity and today they embark on a new lifelong journey of learning and self-discovery.
"I would like to congratulate them for their hard work and tenacity and extend my gratitude and appreciation to the wider NYUAD community for their tireless commitment to the universal values of diversity, justice and peace."
This year’s commencement included several awards and accolades, including the inaugural NYUAD Piano Prize, the Global Leadership Award, the NYUAD Distinguished Alumni Award, and a special Pandemic Leadership Award presented to representatives from NYUAD’s Student Governments from the academic year 2019-20 and 2020-21.
The NYUAD Piano Prize will be awarded annually to a senior who best exemplifies former Provost Fabio Piano’s devotion to science and the wellbeing and excellence of the University. This year’s prize was presented to physics major Kacper Lecki. Al Amiri and President Sirleaf received the 2021 Global Leadership Awards, and the Class of 2019 alumnus Chandan Mishra was recognised with the 2021 NYUAD Distinguished Alumni Award.
Hamilton said, "Today we celebrate the tremendous Class of 2021, their successes, goals, talents and most importantly, their determination. This year has brought unforeseen changes and challenges, but through it all our students have adapted with resilience and creativity, continuing to strive, to grow and to achieve, and we couldn’t be prouder of them. I am excited to see how they will be using their talents and creativity to build a better world."
Nearly two-thirds of Class of 2021 graduates will enter the workforce at top businesses and organisations in the UAE and around the world, including Twitter, Microsoft, Amazon, Abu Dhabi Film Commission, Crimson Education, Global Green and Growth Institute.
Others will enter graduate programmes in medicine, international security, economics, and computer science at the world’s leading institutions, including Stanford University, Dartmouth College, University of Oxford, and the University of Melbourne.