AUIS graduation | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

AUIS graduation

To AUIS Class of 2015, Set Your Goals High!

The AUIS 2015 Commencement brought tears of joy to my eyes. I was following the commencement pictures and videos that were shared by my fellow AUIS friends one by one. I didn’t pass any picture or video without either proudly liking or commenting on it. It just felt amazing! As an AUIS alumnus, I felt incredibly proud to see so many AUIS friends receiving the most prestigious degree one can achieve in the country - an AUIS degree. I would like to leave my message to all the AUIS Class of 2015 graduates. Warm congratulations my friends! You all truly deserve this big achievement and success! As a friend of each one of you, I would like to ask you to set your goals high; you will get them with this degree and the knowledge you have gained at AUIS. There is a bright future and new adventures waiting right around the corner for all of you. Please do not be afraid to aim high or to take up new challenges.  Do not be shy of applying to high positions or multinational companies locally or abroad. You can do it! I am currently working for one of the most well-known multinational companies in the world - Cisco Systems. I’m sharing a message to show you how much you will be able to accomplish through what  you have learned at AUIS; to let you know that you should feel confident to accept the most challenging works regionally or internationally. Dear Mahdi, Thank you very much for your continuous effort and passion in not only setting a clear strategy for your territory, but also for your innovative approach to generating business and your above and beyond focus on your partners and customers. The trust and relationship that you've built with them in such a short time is admirable. Please keep up the great work! Thanks, Muge. I wanted to share this success story to encourage you to set your goals high and to not be afraid of taking up new challenges. You can do it! Keep up the good work. Wishing you all great success in future.   Are you an AUIS alumnus? Do you want to share your share your AUIS journey too? Send it to [email protected] along with one or more good resolution photos. It shouldn’t be more than 500 words, and the email message should be clearly labeled ‘AUIS Alumni Stories’. We would love to hear from you!

The New York Times Columnist Thomas Friedman Speaks at AUIS Third Commencement Ceremony

During his commencement address, Friedman challenged the graduating class to not only thrive in the world around them, but also dare to change it. “Your country needs your talent, passion and creativity more than ever,” he said. “So many color revolutions and Arab springs failed because after the tweeting was over, and after the Facebook posts were all posted, they failed to build organizations and institutions that could take their ideas and turn them into governance, laws and parties that could win elections. Now that you are graduating, whatever work you end up doing, donate a little time to some kind of civil society institution... Promise me you’ll get out of Facebook and into somebody’s face.” Iraq's Best Hope: Read Friedman's article about the AUIS commencement in The New York Times Chairman of the AUIS Board of Trustees Barham Salih echoed this sentiment in his address, encouraging graduates to initiate change and help the region overcome its painful history. “Education is at the heart of our vision for the future,” said Salih. “We look at you and we see agents for change and reform. Our region does not have to be stuck in its history. We do not forget our history, but we can be so different in the future. We do not have to be defined by the history of tragedy and violence and conflict. We can be a prosperous society in which individuals are free, capable, and empowered to influence the destiny of their homeland.” The student address was delivered by valedictorian Dina Dara, who also spoke of change when she urged her peers to apply the tools and techniques learned at AUIS to the world beyond the campus gates. “We will face obstacles as we try to take what we have learned here to our jobs, to our community, and in our social lives. As we approach problems critically and exercise critical thinking techniques that have been the core of our education here, and as we try to move beyond the traditional conventions, we may struggle. But isn’t this how nations are built?” This year’s graduates include 94 undergraduate and 32 graduate students, which is the largest graduating class in the University’s history. More than 50 percent of the undergraduates are business administration majors, 30 percent are information technology majors and 16 percent majored in international studies. Almost 40 percent of the graduating class are woman. Transcript of Friedman's commencement speech is available here. Photos of the commencement ceremony are available on our Facebook page. American University of Iraq, Sulaimani was founded in 2007 as an independent, non-profit, American-style institution of higher learning. The University provides broad-based education, rooted in the American liberal arts tradition. Its programs are designed to develop critical thinking, the ability to communicate well, a strong work ethic, good citizenship and personal integrity, preparing students for successful careers in a modern, pluralistic society, and in a global environment.

First Class of Students Graduate from AUIS at Inaugural Commencement Ceremony

Sulaimani, Iraq – June 17, 2012 – The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) awarded its first undergraduate degrees yesterday during the university’s inaugural commencement exercises.  Over 800 family members, friends, and distinguished guests attended the historic event.  The ceremony was presided over by Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Barham Salih and AUIS President Dr. Athanasios Moulakis. Other speakers included Dr. Allan Goodman, President of the Institute of International Education, and Dr. Ali Saeed, Minister of Higher Education for the Kurdistan Regional Government. Baccalaureate degrees in Business Administration, Information Technology, and International Studies were awarded to 37 students, including the university’s first cohort of ten students. An additional 37 students received a degree of Master of Business Administration. Check more photos on our Facebook page.  Dr. Moulakis opened the ceremony by welcoming the graduates and guests.  “You are the students of the first hour of AUIS,” said Moulakis, addressing the graduates. “You took the risk. You trusted us when we were just a hope and a prayer, and you saw it through to the successful completion of your studies. You are now ready to go out into the world – to make your mark, to take your place in society, to make your way in life.  You have the skills, you have the knowledge, you have the tools.  But what your education has given you is more than tools, more than instruments, more than things to hand that are means to an end. You will be good at what you do, but more importantly you will be able to do good.” Dr. Allan Goodman, President of the Institute of International Education, gave the commencement address. He wished the graduates well and advised them to use their degrees to benefit others. “I see education as such a gift but one that is truly incomplete unless you use it to serve,” said Goodman. “So the lesson is not just about avoiding hiding your gifts but also about taking risks whose aim is to make the world we share a little bit better and safer for others.”  Two graduates, Ms. Kurdistan Fatih and Mr. Ahmed Hewa Rasheed, also spoke at the ceremony. These students, who received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration, respectively, were selected as student speakers for their stellar performance in their programs.  Kurdistan spoke first, noting that AUIS was a life-changing experience for her and her fellow graduates. “Without this experience we would not be the same people who we are now. I cannot imagine myself without the precious experiences, skills, and education acquired from this University,” she said. “But this University was more than just great history, English and math classes: At this University, we grew on the volleyball court, on the theater stage, in debates between students and their professors. We grew… and we grew as a community.” Ahmed also spoke of the tremendous influence the university has had on his life. “I speak for my classmates in saying that this program has had an impact on all of us and has added a great deal to our lives,” he said. “We are now armed with what it takes to tackle the challenges we will face in the future. We are equipped to act as leaders and agents of change to make this part of the world a better place.” About the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani  AUIS is Iraq’s only non-profit institution for public benefit.  The mission of the university is to provide advanced academic programs at international standards of quality in higher education for the professions and general education.  Academic programs, taught in the English language by international faculty members, are designed to meet or exceed accreditation standards set by regional accreditation organizations in the United States.  It is the objective of the University to produce graduates of responsible character with the necessary knowledge and skills for professional and national leadership.  Students are prepared for successful careers in a modern, democratic, pluralistic society and in a global environment.  The educational program of the university is designed to develop strength in critical thinking, the ability to communicate well, a strong work ethic, good citizenship and personal integrity.  Broad-based education, rooted in the American liberal arts tradition, as well as skill development is achieved at the University through teaching excellence, quality scholarship, and caring student services. The core values of the university are freedom and responsibility, democracy, free expression and inquiry, equal opportunity, individual rights, tolerance, and honorable personal and professional behavior.  These values apply equally to all members of the university community, including students, faculty and staff members, administrators, persons invited to participate at the university, and members of the board of trustees and advisory bodies.  The university is, by design, an institution that is non-governmental, non-partisan, nonsectarian, independent, not-for-profit, and guided by the highest ethical standards.  It is committed to integrity and the rule of law in all of its dealings with public officials and private interests.  Academic freedom is a principle guaranteed in teaching, learning, and research in a manner identical to that found at regionally accredited colleges and universities in the United States. The university does not discriminate on the basis of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, occupation, politics, economic standing, or any other common human demographic factor in its admission of students or administration of the University or its policies.
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