The capital’s Aldar HQ building in Al Raha Beach and the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi hotel turned purple on Saturday, May 19 in celebration of New York University Abu Dhabi’s fifth Commencement ceremony and the graduating Class of 2018. The buildings will be lit up purple again over the course of this evening as the ceremony takes place on the university’s campus. 

NYUAD also hosted a fireworks display yesterday evening to mark the occasion. The display brought the skies above the campus on Saadiyat Island to life with light, color, and sound, enjoyed by a crowd of over 1,000 students and their families as well as faculty and staff.

These activities are part of the broader graduation celebration taking place across NYU’s global network. On May 16, NYU New York lit up the Empire State Building in New York City for their Commencement event, while NYU Shanghai will be turning the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower purple in celebration of their Commencement later this week.

Set to take place today from 8.30pm, the University’s fifth graduation ceremony will honor the many accomplishments of the Class of 2018. More than 250 students from over 70 countries will be conferred degrees at the ceremony, which will include remarks from UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs His Excellency Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, and Former US Secretary of State John Kerry. 

Speaking on behalf of the graduating class will be NYUAD student Abda Kazemi. Born in Afghanistan and raised in the United Kingdom, Kazemi is majoring in Social Research and Public Policy with a minor in Arabic language. Emirati student Maitha Salem Al Memari, who was recently selected as a 2018 Rhodes Scholar, will also offer brief welcome remarks.