KAUST Celebrates Fifth Commencement Ceremony

Members of the University's Academic Leadership and Board of Trustees stand onstage at the fifth Commencement ceremony.

KAUST celebrated its fifth Commencement on December 12, 2014, welcoming 38 Ph.D. students and 121 master's degree students to the community of alumni.

In a ceremony presided over by the University's Academic Leadership and His Excellency Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi, Chairman of KAUST's Board of Trustees, President Chameau welcomed the graduates, their friends and families and the KAUST community in honoring the students as they "begin another journey in life."

"Commencement is a day to celebrate your experiences and achievements at KAUST," said President Chameau. "Tonight is about you, but it is also about your friends and families and those who have supported your academic and life journey."

President Chameau acknowledged that the students' journeys through their studies at KAUST may not have always been easy, but the faculty advisors and professors who challenged and pushed them "are and will remain [their] greatest supporters," he said.

Shamael Al-Shuhail, the Class of 2014 Commencement Speaker, described her experience as a master's degree student in Electrical Engineering at KAUST as a challenge she gladly took on, for when she did, "opportunities opened wide."

"KAUST has invested in all of us, and helped us turn every opportunity into success," she said. "We now believe that no matter how tough the job is, we are tougher. KAUST is truly a place of discovery of all aspects…The great contributions the University will make will be through its graduates. Let us show the world the excellence of our education and research."

Dr. John L. Hennessy, President of Stanford University, gives his remarks as Commencement's Distinguished Speaker during the ceremony.

Dr. John L. Hennessy, President of Stanford University, was the evening's Distinguished Commencement Speaker. Dr. Hennessy, a thought-leader and world-renowned pioneer in computer science, is Stanford's tenth president and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences.

"This is a moment to celebrate what has already been achieved at KAUST," Dr. Hennessy said. "Ten years ago, there was no university: no buildings, no faculty and no students. Much has been accomplished, and KAUST is now well on its way to becoming one of the great science and technology universities."

Dr. Hennessy advised the graduates to follow five insights he discovered that have helped him to lead an interesting, fulfilling and impactful life.

"Find and pursue your passion," he said. "Approach challenges in new ways…Be bold…Honor your reputation…[and] give back."

"Remember that your education is a gift…and you have benefited from the incredible education here at KAUST through the graciousness and generosity of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah," he added. "Use your education to do good in the world...Your journey through life will be more meaningful, and the world will be a better place for your contributions."

KAUST's proud members of the graduating class of 2014 celebrate their achievements at the Commencement ceremony on December 12. .

In his closing remarks, President Chameau told the graduates they are now "KAUST's ambassadors throughout the world."

"The key ingredient for a great university…is our students, our graduates," he said. "The contributions you will make to the Kingdom and the world will reflect on how well KAUST prepared and equipped you…therefore, you represent our greatest contribution to society. Our future is linked to your journeys and success. Wherever you go, take your KAUST experience with you and be an ambassador for collaboration and friendship…do things that matter and change the world."