Sharjah Ruler urges AUS alumni to inspire societyFeb 23, 2012 - 11:26 -
WAM Sharjah, Feb 23rd, 2012 (WAM)--H. H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS) has urged AUS alumni to become an inspiration to society through their good deeds as well as shining examples of the positive values of AUS.
Sheikh Sultan also thanked the alumni for finding the time to travel back to their alma mater to attend the fifth Annual Alumni Reunion Dinner held at the university's Main Plaza on Thursday, February 23, 2012.
Organized by the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, the annual reunion dinner is a major event for alumni who convene at AUS from all around the world and this year's dinner was attended by over 2,500 alumni.
At the dinner, Sheikh Sultan welcomed back graduates from the last 15 years and said, "I am grateful to each of you for finding time to travel back to Sharjah. I know that it takes considerable time from your busy work and family schedules, along with effort to make the local and international travel arrangements. But I am sure that the rich experiences of this evening will revive the excitement that you felt as a student in constantly pushing into new intellectual frontiers." "Fifteen years ago in 1997, AUS was still getting started as the initiation of a vision with only a dozen pioneer faculty members and some 250 students. Today, our alumni cover the globe in their quest to build and innovate in whatever career they chose. Most of you have come to hold key positions of influence. Please remember that you should provide in your careers a shining example of the positive values of AUS and be an inspiration to society through good deeds," he added.
The ceremony started on the arrival of the Ruler of Sharjah, with an address by Dr. Peter Heath, AUS Chancellor who greeted the Ruler of Sharjah and the alumni. "The alumni among us tonight, who keep up with the university through their very active Alumni Association, are well aware of the great developments at AUS. In the intervening year since we last came together, we have proceeded with the task of forever strengthening the academic programs under the continuous guidance of His Highness," said Dr. Heath.
"The AUS community, our alumni, students, faculty and staff, have created a proud tradition for 15 years to take on the odds, to work harder than the competition, and to turn dreams into solid reality. The �can do' ethic is the hallmark of AUS. As AUS moves closer towards its goal of becoming a premier university among elite peers, we too will continue to do everything within our power to ensure success for our most important product - you, the AUS alumni," concluded Dr. Heath.
Dr. Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs, also commemorated on behalf of all AUS alumni the return of His Highness to his alma mater. She reminded the audience that, "Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qassimi has recently been called the �conscience of the nation' for his unique input into many of the critical issues faced during the past four decades of the UAE's history and for contributing in leading in the development of higher education and invigorating cultural heritage to perform new tasks of the globalized world." "Sheikh Sultan not only conceptualized what AUS could become when there was little more than sand where we now convene, but guided the university through every step along the way to AUS's rapid rise to excellence," Dr. Mourtada-Sabbah added.
Alumnus Musbah Abu Jarad, Vice President of AUS Alumni Association (AUSAA), also addressed the gathering, speaking on behalf of the AUSAA President and the alumni.
The Ruler of Sharjah also inaugurated an exhibition organized by the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs for renowned artists Dr. Najat Meky and Ismael Al Refai entitled Art through University and Community Dialogue. The acclaimed Emirati artist, Dr. Najat Meky, dedicated three monumental paintings (3 m x 5 m each) to His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan in appreciation of his pioneering efforts in preserving the fine arts in Sharjah's museums and in celebration of the Sharjah Ruler's return in good health.
On the occasion, AUS alumni presented His Highness with a special book entitled The Arabian Antiquities of Spain, which depicts the architecture, sculpture and paintings of al-Andalus.
The evening also saw 14 alumni win scholarships to attend graduate school at AUS in the fields of their choice. Winners of the scholarships were: Waleed Anwar, Rawad El Haj Ali, Nader Aly, Rashed Kabbara, Yousef El Haj, Fida Al Salamin, Samah Hajj, Rida Aref, Osama Darraj, Eman Al Raeesi, Taha Dahraba, Tamer Al- Deek, Abdulrahman Abbas and Kamal Saadeddin.
Alumna Ahlam Kaddoura won a 2012 model Mitsubishi Lancer offered by The Construction Machinery Center, as the winner of a contest to determine the most active alumnus or alumna involving her fellow alumni in activities of the AUS Alumni Association.
The dinner was also attended by alumni leaders who have attained distinction in their young careers, including Salah Al Shamsi, former Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of Liwa Investment Holding; Sheikh Khalid bin Saqr Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Public Works Department; Yousuf Al Bastaki, Vice President of EMAL; Sheikh Mohammad Faisal Al-Qassimi, AUSAA Founding Board President; and Sheikha Azza Al Nuaimi, AUS Alumni Association President.
Also present were AUS trustees Hamid D. Jafar, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Crescent Petroleum; Riad T. Sadik, Chairman of Al Habtoor Leighton Group; and Maroun Semaan, President and CEO Petrofac International Ltd.
Other invitees included Dr. Amr Abdul Hamid, Advisor to His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah for Higher Education; Ahmed Ismail, Chairman MAF Dalkia; Walid Al Hashimi, CEO of Sharjah Holding; Faizal Kottikolon Chairman, the KEF Company FZC; and Shabana Faizal, Managing Director, the KEF Company FZC; senior university officials, graduates, staff and faculty members.