The 3rd Commencement Ceremony of the Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai (RIT Dubai) took place this Monday, 2 June. Attended by H.E. Sheik Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, it celebrated the achievements of 22 remarkable students, including the first group graduating with a bachelor’s degree from RIT Dubai.
Established in 2008, RIT Dubai is a not-for-profit global campus of the esteemed Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, one of the world’s leading technology focused universities with a storied 185 year history. RIT Dubai offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business and leadership, engineering, and computing.
Among the honored speakers at the RIT Dubai commencement was H.E. Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He explained the importance of graduating and its relationship to other life experiences. “Receiving your diploma is not only the end of your journey; it is the beginning of your life.”
He went on also to remark, “Today’s world is changing very quickly, and in order to be successful, you need to adapt to meet those changes.”
This includes RIT Dubai has recently stirred global interest according to Dr. Yousef Al Assaf.
“There are many features that distinguish our university from others including its close interaction with industry, which includes one of the largest cooperative education programs in the world, meeting business and industry needs and preparing students for successful careers in a global society. RIT Dubai has a drive to enhance human capacity and development in areas that are critical to the region such as sustainability, energy, smart city sciences and services, leadership roles, female empowerment, and supporting the deaf community.”
He also explained that in RIT’s long history of highly ranked degree programs, its most distinctive feature is being a true global university with campuses around the world and numerous nationalities studying and working together.
Having recently arrived from RIT’s global campus in Croatia, the provost of RIT New York, Dr. Jeremy Haefner, congratulated RIT Dubai students. “We are proud to support Dubai’s initiatives to become a ‘Smart City’ over the next few years and look forward to the impact these innovations will have on your community and the world. This public-private endeavor is emblematic of the interdisciplinary thinking we aim to foster in our students so that they, too, may go forth and improve their world with a combination of creative thinking and leading-edge technology.”
Mr. Anas Bu-Khash, founder of the Ahdaaf Sports Club in Dubai, gave a motivating commencement speech in which he encouraged students to always follow their passion. He stated, “There is no real formula for succeeding in the business world, but there are three main factors that frequently lead to success: Passion, Planning, and Perseverance.”
During the ceremony, student achievements were recognized and celebrated, especially the outstanding students of Dr. Ghalib Kahwaji, professor of mechanical engineering. His team recently won first place in the 5th annual Engineering Students Renewable Energy Competition (ESREC), the largest meeting of engineering students in the field of renewable energy in the Gulf region. Dr. Kahwaji explained, “The participation of our students in such national level competitions helps to raise their awareness about important issues such as global warming and sustainable environment. I’m very proud of our student’s success.” This statement was also echoed by Dr. Rizwan Tahir, who successfully participated in the ‘X-Culture’ project with a team of RIT students. Dr. Rizwan said, “During the X-Culture project, our students establish contact with their international peers. Their inspiring effort into working with their international teams made a very positive impression on their team members.”
Mr. Rob Waller, U.S. Consul General of Dubai, spoke about the rapid development in the sciences from when he graduated twenty years ago. He went on to explain that while technology keeps evolving and improving, the importance of earning an American degree has not diminished. A degree from RIT Dubai provides graduates with an important advantage as they enter today’s highly competitive job market in a global environment.
The moving graduate address was delivered by Hadef Al Shamsi, who stated, “Success is not a goal or a dream, success is a journey. Today is one of the important steps on your journey to success, and many more will follow – inshallah.”
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