Speech at American International University's

First Graduation Ceremony

Dinesh Shukla, President


Your Excellency The President of Republic of The Gambia, Honorable Dr. Abubacar Senghore, Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Honorable Fatou Lamin Faye, Minister of Basic and Secondary Education, Honorable Omar Sey, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps, Acting Vice Chancellor of University of The Gambia, Heads of institutions, Government officials, our invited guests Faculty and Staff of American International University West Africa, The graduating students, Class of 2015, their proud families and friend, Ladies and Gentlemen All other protocols deemed observed.


Dinesh Shukla

July 14, 2015

I heartily welcome all of you to witness the 1st graduation ceremony of American International University West Africa

I would like to begin by expressing my deepest and sincerest appreciation and gratitude to His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh Babili Mansa, the President of Republic of The Gambia for accepting our humble invitation to be the Chief and Honored Guest for this event. AIUWA from its humble beginning in 2011 has indeed been blessed to have His Excellency's support, guidance, wisdom and directives which has enabled this institution to reach this point and host this event. Thank you Your Excellency. Thank you so very much.

As I reflect back, we started this institution with a faculty that out-numbered the student population and in this short period of 4.5 years, we have been able to establish six colleges, three campuses and a vibrant student population. The AIU Health Science campus is under construction at Kanifing Institutional Area and is expected to be complete in next 10 months... I feel full of joy and pride with an immense amount of optimism about the future of our institution, this beautiful country and global community. All this can be attributed to the support we have received from all of you present here. Thank you.

But most importantly, the heart and soul of AIUWA is in this room right now - all of our students. For me, this is a very special event - the first AIUWA Commencement. No matter how many more may I officiate in future, I will remember you - the class of 2015 until the time my age diminishes my memory. I am truly proud of all of you.  I have seen the potential in each one of you, and through your time at AIUWA, I was privileged to see your growth.  I am confident in your future success because I have seen you demonstrate appreciation for tolerance, your openness to consider varied view points and your ability to walk across differences. All essential for success in life.

This world has many challenges ahead, ranging from political to economic to health.  We live in an age of Ebola, HIV, AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria etc. I believe that with the education and training you have received from AIUWA, you can be a part of solution to some of these challenges, especially in health related field. So put your education and training to work.  As you continue to learn and change, remember to recall your mentors, keep up your spirits and stretch your imagination. Above all, keep in touch and remember this institution and this country as a place you can always call home.

Graduation is an emotional time. On one hand you are proud of your accomplishments. On the other, you are sad to leave your friends and are anxious about your future. Today is not just a farewell day. Today is a day of nostalgia of receiving you diploma from Honorable Minister. Today is a day of cherishing the friends you have made here. Today is a day that has made your parents proud. Today is a day where you value the sacrifices they have made for you. This day will forever be reminiscent of this place.

Congratulations and Good luck.�������������������

�Thank you


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