His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi (second from left) at the event on Saturday Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah on Saturday attended the annual ceremony of the American University of Sharjah Alumni Association, held in conjunction with the university’s silver jubilee celebrations.

Sheikh Sultan reviewed the university’s journey from its beginnings, pointing to the educational and administrative plans that were made to raise the academic level of the university.

The university has graduated more than 18,000 students in 25 years Image Credit: Supplied

In his speech, Sheikh Sultan said: “Today, this university completes a period that, according to many people, is like a blink of an eye, but in fact, this period has passed by building this university from nothing to this level of perfection. This university did not progress and rise by chance, but rather by construction and diligence.”

He added: “God has helped us to establish this university on this site, and to set for it a high educational curriculum, qualified professors, and a council that runs this university, who were all one family.”

Sheikh Sultan, who is President of the American University of Sharjah, extended his appreciation to everyone who has worked at the university, including professors, members of the Board of Trustees, and university administrators.

Sheikha Bodour appointed AUS President
On Sunday, His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, issued an Emirati Decree No. 6) of 2023 appointing Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi as President of the American University of Sharjah (AUS) and chairperson of its board of trustees, as of its date. Sheikh Sultan stated that after 25 years of continuous work in the presidency of the AUS, where it reached the stage of perfection with the help of university chancellors and members of the board of trustees, it is time to step down from the position of the university president and give the opportunity to a new generation to lead the university, with the assistance of the university chancellor and members of the board of trustees. Regarding the selection of Sheikha Bodour, Sheikh Sultan stated that he chose to appoint Sheikha Bodour because of her knowledge and competence to be the president of the AUS, highlighting that he will not be far from Sheikha Bodour nor from AUS.

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‘Beautiful memories’

He said: “We do not remember 25 years as a fleeting memory, but rather as beautiful memories that indicate everyone who dedicated and gave sincere academic giveaways... and the Board of Trustees decided to develop a programme for research studies, which required many things such as buildings, equipment, programs, and professors.”

He added: “Then we did not skimp and started working, where the equipment and construction cost Dh267 million for the Research Centre of the College of Engineering, and now this centre is the eye of this university, and through it we have reached serious research registered on behalf of the American University in the scientific community.”

The Ruler of Sharjah recalled the beginnings of the establishment of the American University of Sharjah, and the great efforts that continued until it was crowned with success.

“25 years ago , I started from this place [the site of the celebration], and the first furnishing in the university city was the American University that was built, followed by construction of many institutions.”

He said: “I remember that I had an umbrella to sit under and watch and supervise the work that was going on until this university was completed in less than 11 months, and we succeeded with the beginning of the academic year and we opened the College of Engineering, where there were only 18 students in it, and they advised me to postpone the study because the cost is high, but I told them that we will start even with one student, and indeed we started and completed the process, and thank God now the College of Engineering includes the largest number of students in the university. We hope, God willing, that this path will continue in the same way.”

He wished success to the graduates in their practical and scientific lives, wishing all new students success in completing the journey.

18,000 graduates

Dr Susan Mumm, Chancellor of AUS, said that Alumni Association ceremony this year has a special character, as it coincides with the celebration of the University’s Silver Jubilee, and the American University of Sharjah has graduated more than 18,000 students, affirming that the university provides a distinguished educational experience that supports the success of the graduates, allowing them to continue and contribute to sciences, humanities, design, business, engineering, government work, and other fields.

Ali Lootah, President of the Alumni Association at the American University of Sharjah, delivered a speech in which he indicated that the university had completed its 25th year, during which it achieved many achievements based on the vision and leadership of the Ruler of Sharjah.

The audience watched a video show displaying achievements of the American University of Sharjah in the past years, in addition to video interviews of some graduates who talked about their journey and successes after the study trip at the university.

The President of the American University of Sharjah honoured a number of graduates in recognition of their various achievements in their fields in addition to their community contributions.

The honours included the winners of the University Award for Voluntary Services, and the winners of the Most Active Member of the University Alumni Council award. The names of those honoured were placed on the wall of the elite graduates of the American University in Sharjah for 2023.