In Fujairah, UAE on November 30th 2018, Eton University held its first graduation ceremony in the UAE for the graduates of doctoral, master and bachelor programs under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hamad Bin Saif Al Sharqi.
55 graduates from the College of Business, College of Education and College of Health & Safety Sciences received their certificates. Our graduates representing 13 nationalities hailed from across the Middle East and Asia to attend the ceremony. These nationalities include Egypt, Jordan, Syria, India, Libya, Palestine, Kuwait, Lebanon, Bahrain, Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Emirates.
Guests of honor at the ceremony included Dr Ahmed Zaki, Eton University's Chancellor of Arabic department and Mr Paul Woodcock, Director of English Studies, who presided the ceremony on behalf of University President, Dr Mark Smith.
Paul Woodcook opened a ceremony, delivering a motivational speech to the graduates: "You are all now part of a much larger group, a group of people who share your experiences and have walked, at least for some part, the same path as you. Being a graduate from Eton University should fill you with pride. Pride that you have worked hard and achieved much.
"You are about to leave this place, and continue pursuing your dreams. In that, I think I speak on behalf of all of us on the stage when we wish you all the best of luck whatever your path takes you.
"Remember, your education is not just a ticket to a job, but it will equip you to tackle the challenges this new world will throw your way. You have been given the tools to take advantage of any situation that crosses your path, and the confidence to take it and make it work for you."
Dr Ahmed Zaki, in his speech, expressed appreciation towards the graduates for their contributions to their communities, congratulated them on their achievements and thanked them for travelling all the way to attend the ceremony.
During the ceremony, Eton University conferred honorary degrees upon four outstanding individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to society. The first honorary doctorate was conferred upon Her Excellency Sara al Madani, who was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Business Administration in Woman Leadership for her outstanding work in encouraging and inspiring women in the UAE to take leadership positions in a society. (Click here to see her acceptance speech.)
The second honorary doctorate was conferred upon Mr Ali Naji, who was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Business Administration for his outstanding accomplishment to influence senior citizens across the UAE to continue pursuing their education throughout their life. (Click here to see his acceptance speech.)
The third honorary doctorate was conferred upon Mrs Amna Aldhanhani, who was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship for her outstanding efforts in entrepreneurship sector that contributes to the development of Fujairah Emirate.
Lastly, an honorary doctorate was conferred upon Mrs Dalal Al Sheikh in recognition of her outstanding contributions in inspiring educational leaders to take the new generations forward.
Director of Alumni Association & Foundation Network, Dr Gabrielle Hargreaves, welcomed graduates to the Eton University Alumni network, encouraged them to stay connected and continue learning and invited them to the UK to attend a complimentary course 'Get Branded' at Eton University study centre in Manchester. (Click here for the full speech.)
During the ceremony, Dr Jamal Jameel Saad Aldeen, a graduate of the Business Administration doctoral program, delivered his valedictory oration, in which he thanked the university for the education it provided. He additionally thanked his family members and fellow graduates, wishing them the best in their futures.
The ceremony was also attended by Farah Habra, the Executive Director of Al Nujoom Study Centre (Eton University Authorized Branch Campus), in addition to members of the university’s faculty and staff, the graduates and more than 200 members of their families and friends.
See a gallery of selected photos from the ceremony below.