King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) celebrated its 13th Commencement on a cool, breezy evening, December 16, 2022, among approximately 380 graduating students and a full audience of supportive families, university community members and distinguished guests. The event took place at Discovery Walk at the center of the University "Spine" — the outdoor corridor that runs the length of the academic campus. Those unable to attend in person could watch the livestream event online — also available for post commencement viewing.
The ceremonial procession began the evening's fanfare, with the graduates wearing regalia according to degree — dark green robes worn by doctoral graduates, and black gowns by master's students, with colorful vestments based on affiliated division. The audience rose while the Saudi national anthem played, and sat in silent respect during the recitation of the Qur'an.
Provost Larry Carin warmly welcomed everyone to the event, introducing KAUST President Tony Chan to the stage. The President's address invited graduating students to ponder "a world we would like to live in," with a titled talk centered on the theme of applying one's talent in the world, with a challenge that their service help shape a better future.
Following the President's speech, student commencement speaker Evgeniya Volkova, a graduating doctoral student in earth science and engineering, greeted those in attendance. Volkova talked about her journey at KAUST, acknowledging how its ethos to engage with others and collaborate guided her projects and gave her the ability to look at research in the context of a bigger picture. Her work, which focuses on modeling fundamental properties of dust and its impact on solar panels, is a crucial area of research for the Middle East. "Who would have thought that math could be more than a bunch of numbers?" she asked.
Following Volkova's address, President Chan welcomed Distinguished Speaker Alice Gast to the stage. The Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering and former President of Imperial College London 2014-2022 is also a former board member of KAUST (2009–2018). In Gast's speech, she talked about KAUST as a culture of risk takers "jumping the curbstone of tradition," with many traveling far from home to immerse in research and innovate alongside those from other cultures.
Gast concluded, "My message to you is to build those teams. Polish your ideas by seeking people with different views and talents, and don't be afraid of your competitors; they may hold the key to your success."
A celebratory video featuring a cross-section of KAUST graduates played for the audience after Gast's address, followed by the conferral of degrees.
This year CBRC saw many student candidates complete their Postdoctoral and Masters Degrees. CBRC congratulates all students on this great achievement and wishes you even more success in the future.
Article source: KAUST news