Sunday, 23 June 2019


June 22, 2019, Cairo – The American University in Cairo (AUC) held last Thursday its centennial commencement ceremony of the Class of 2019 that witnessed the graduation of 644 bachelor’s degree candidates, of whom 115 graduated with honors, 134 with high honors and 125 with highest honors. Master’s degrees were awarded to 125 candidates at the centennial commencement ceremony and two students received a doctorate degree. The ceremony also witnessed the graduation of 43 international undergraduate and graduate students. The centennial commencement ceremony featured keynote speaker, Maggie Michael '00 Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting along with an Associated Press team, for covering the war in Yemen.

At the ceremony, AUC President Francis Ricciardone said: “Today’s commencement is a very special ceremony because this year and next, AUC is celebrating the 100th year since our founding. We rejoice in the accomplishments of all of our Centennial Class.” Ricciardone shared with the graduating class another reason to celebrate saying: “just yesterday, it was announced that AUC has climbed 25 places this past year in the world rankings, so you graduates can tell all your friends that you graduated from a University that is not just in the top 1 per cent of Universities around the world but the top 0.7 percent, so special congratulations to the graduates and to all the faculty and staff who helped earn this distinction.”

Welcoming Michael, the key note speaker, Ricciardone said: “Your record of high accomplishment and real courage in the most challenging corners of one of the most challenging professions of our times inspires us all. We are proud that you are both a daughter of AUC, and a “Bint El-Nil”.

Michael shared memories of her time at AUC and some of the lessons she learned during her work as a journalist. “AUC taught me critical thinking and to question everything. For me, this is an essential skill that I treasured throughout 20 years of journalism that was lately recognized by the Pulitzer Prize,” she said. She stressed on the relevance of critical thinking, “It is an essential mind armor while covering this region that is torn between forces of religious fanaticism and chauvinism that divided people into believers and infidels or between loyalists and traitors.”

She also shared with the students how for nearly a year and half as a student at AUC, she had a unique experience in running AUC’s student newspaper The Caravan from scratch, “It’s my most precious memories that I hold on to today.”

Her advice to students’ was to never give up, “have a thick skin in the face of people who undermine everything you do or look down at you, because of your age, religion, gender, or social background or just because of no real reason. There are plenty of them in every company, institution, and agency. Keep your head up, question everything, and surprise yourself.”

Distinguished undergraduate students were recognized for their achievements at the ceremony. The President’s Cup and the Mohamed EL Beleidy Academic Award were given to Nadine Medhat, Nadeen Abdelwahab, Mariz Usama, Noor Absher, Hassan Abdel Rahman, Marlene Maher, Nour Hossam and Sarah Nader, who ranked highest in the graduating class and who studied construction engineering. The Jehane Ragai and John Thomas highest Achiever in Chemistry Award was presented to Marie Gamal.

The Omar Mohsen Athletic Achievement cup was presented to Seifeldin Amin and Farida Wael. Other awards included the Ahmed El Mehallawi Family Award that was given to Ahmed Hossam el Din. The Parents Association Cup was presented to Mohamed Ayman. Students Merna Muhammed, Ahmed Khaled and Mohamed Omar were awarded the student Government Cup. Salma Khaled received the Valerie Farag Music Award. The Mohammed Bin Abdulkarim A. Allehedan Award was awarded to the highest performing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) student Amro Hussam.

The Dr. Ahmed Abdel Rahman El Sawy award, presented to the student with the highest grade point average in the engineering department, who has been a Public School Scholarship recipient, was awarded to Motasem Ahmed.

For graduate students’ awards, Amira Mahmoud, ’16 was awarded 25th of January Award for Scholarly Excellence which is awarded for a student’s outstanding thesis work on a topic related to democracy, human rights, citizenship or sustainable development in the Middle East and North Africa. The Mohammed Bin Abdulkarim A. Allehedan Award, was awarded to the highest performing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) student, Amira Hesham ’14.

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