Inaugural in-Kingdom Alumni Chapter reunion held at KAUST

KAUST alumni attend a dinner during an in-Kingdom alumni chapter reunion Friday, November 27, 2015.

The KAUST Saudi Arabia Alumni Chapter held its first-ever reunion to welcome back alumni living and working in the Kingdom on Friday, November 27, 2015. Attendees from KAUST and throughout the Kingdom participated in the unique celebration, which featured seminars on networking, a women’s alumni gathering, a reunion for members of the class of 2010 and other recreational activities.

The event culminated in a dinner hosted by James Calvin, KAUST vice president for Academic Affairs, and the KSA alumni chapter officers Justine Mink (M.S. 2010/Ph.D. 2013), Damian San Roman (M.S. 2010/Ph.D. 2014), Ernesto Sandoval (M.S. 2010), Yasmeen Najm (M.S. 2013), Mariam Awlia (M.S. 2013), Jose Tavares (M.S. 2010) and Mohannad Abdelaziz (M.S. 2011).

KAUST alumni catchup during an in-Kingdom alumni chapter reunion Friday, November 27, 2015.

The event's afternoon seminar kicked off with a panel discussion during which alumni shared their work-related experiences from different corners of the Kingdom. The panel discussion was followed by a talk about living a life of impact by Hanin Alzubaidy (M.S. 2011, Chemical and Biological Engineering). The afternoon also included a discussion about volunteer opportunities in the Kingdom led by Saudi Initiatives and an improv workshop.

During his speech at the dinner reception, Calvin mentioned that KAUST alumni have an important role in building the University's global reputation. In her speech, Mink, president of the Saudi Arabia Alumni Chapter, highlighted the joy of meeting old colleagues at new stages in their lives. She emphasized the importance of alumni staying connected with each other and with KAUST and asked alumni to think about how to give back to a region that has provided them with so many opportunities.

Professor James Calvin, vice president for Academic Affairs, speaks to KAUST alumni Friday, November 27, in the University Library.

After the dinner, Saudi Arabia Alumni Chapter officers announced that in January 2016, new chapter officers will be selected. All KAUST alumni residing in Saudi Arabia are eligible to be nominated.

Nearly 250 guests joined the activities throughout the day. Guests included close to 50 alumni from outside of KAUST who arrived mainly from the Eastern Province and 130 alumni working or studying on the University's campus.