Illustration by Rosy Tahan
The most bittersweet part of the year is almost here: the Commencement ceremony. This year will mark New York University Abu Dhabi’s fifth graduation ceremony, which will be held on May 20 on the Saadiyat Island campus. To those familiar with NYUAD and its reputation for promoting diversity, it comes as no surprise that the Class of 2018 is comprised of around “250 students from more than 70 countries around the world”.
Speaking on the behalf of this diverse student body will be Abda Kazemi, Class of 2018, who majored in Social Research and Public Policy with a minor in Arabic language. Along with Kazemi, Maitha Salem Al Memari, Class of 2018 and a 2018 Rhodes Scholar, will be offering welcome remarks at the ceremony. Other representatives of the graduating class include Kate Melville-Rea, Class of 2018, and Syeda Ghaniba Al, Class of 2019, as Torchbearers for their respective classes; Shujaat Mirza, the Abu Dhabi Banner Bearer; Thomas Klein, NYUAD Banner Bearer; and Marie-Claude Hykpo, Degree Recipient in New York.
As for the invited guest speakers, former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and His Excellency Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, will give their congratulatory remarks to the graduating seniors.
The upcoming ceremony will take place during Ramadan, so Commencement will be held in the evening to suit the needs of those fasting. In addition, because the graduating class is significantly larger than it was in previous years, the ceremony will likely continue for longer than usual.
Unfortunately, the Commencement hall will not be able to accommodate as many people as it did previously. There are fewer free seats this year, and due to the high demand of tickets from seniors and their guests, underclassmen will not be able to get tickets through a lottery system as they have been able to in the past. There will be a livestream of the ceremony in the Red Theater for those who want to watch the event.
This year, each senior received four tickets for Commencement and can request extra tickets for the Red Theater screening. Staff and faculty who are not part of the platform party, marshalling at the event or invited by a student to the ceremony will have access to the screening in order to maximize the number of tickets available to the seniors and their guests.
Cece Kim is Deputy News Editor. Email her at [email protected]