More than 2600 graduates mark end of journey in 44th graduation ceremony

Birzeit University celebrated the graduation of its 44th cohort from its nine faculties. The university granted around 2600 degrees during a three- day ceremony held between Friday and Sunday, 21-23 June, 2019.

The university graduated 2225 undergraduate students, 455 graduate students and 26 diploma students from the Faculties of Arts, Law and Public Administration, Science, Education, Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Professions, Business and Economics, Art, Music and Design, Engineering and Technology and Graduate Studies.

The ceremony was attended by the university’s chairman of Board of Trustees Hanna Nasir, the university’s president Abdullatif Abuhijleh, and its faculty and staff members.

In his commencement speech, President of Birzeit University Abdullatif Abuhijleh congratulated the students on their achievement and the accomplishments they have attained during their journey at the university. These accomplishments, according to Abuhijleh, and those of the faculty members, have made the university the best higher-education institution in Palestine, despite all the obstacles and challenges imposed by the Israeli occupation.

Abuhijleh confirmed the university’s mission to continue expanding and developing, by introducing new program in its faculties, and integrating 21st century learning methods and tools in its teaching environment. All of this, said Abuhijleh, wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of the university’s friends, and those who are committed to philanthropy, such as Omar and Samir Abdulahdi, who contributed to the establishment of the Omar Abdulhadi Building at the Faculty of Business and Economics, and the Samir Abdulhadi Building at the Faculty of Science.

In the first day, The Palestinian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Mahmoud Abu Mowais joined the celebration and gave a speech on behalf of the President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas in which he stressed on four key aspects that distinguish Birzeit University: its distinctiveness in research and academia; its world renowned graduates; its students’ great sense of belonging; and its democratic, free and national atmosphere and values.

Chairperson of Birzeit University’s Board of Trustees Hanna Nasir awarded an honorary doctorate in business administration to Omar Abdulhadi, founder of the Arab Center for Engineering Studies, for his contributions to Palestine and especially to Birzeit University’s Arabic Music Program.

Abdulhadi has also contributed toward the establishment of the Omar Abdulhadi Building/Annex to the Faculty of Business and Economics, a four-story building which houses two lecture halls, eight classrooms, and offices for university faculty members that serve the needs of the students and staff.

Nasir praised Abdulhadi’s support for and belief in Birzeit University’s core principles — liberal education and freedom of thought and expression — and his efforts toward the advancement of Palestinian institutions.

Abdulhadi expressed his pride in his honorary doctorate that he received from Birzeit University. “The doctorate that I have been awarded today made me happier than when I received my doctorate in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in the US.”

Nasir and Abuhijleh presented an honorary award in recognition of the late Leila Bordcosh’s support for Birzeit University. Bordcosh, who passed away in 2012 in New York, had endowed Birzeit University with $500,000, which funded the academic journeys of many low-income students at the university. Commending her efforts, Nasir said that Bordcosh believed in the importance of Birzeit University and its teaching philosophy, and supported Palestinians and the education in Palestine.

During the second day ceremony, the university conferred the Scientific Research Award of 2018/2019 to Hijazi Abu Ali, associate professor at the Department of Chemistry, and Majdi Mafarja, an assistant professor at the Department of Computer Science. Equally awarded for both professors, the award recognized their outstanding contributions to research in the past five years.

The Faculty Excellence Award was presented to Mahran Quraan, an assistant professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Quraan won the award for his creativity and excellence in teaching, enriching the curricula with practical projects and encouraging students to produce scientific research that were published in prominent journals.

The university also recognized Tareq Daghamin, the section head at the technical support section, as the Employee of the Year. The award is presented to staff in recognition for their exceptional job performance and distinguished contributions to the university community. Daghamin developed and empowered the system of surveillance in the university, and empowered the network for data transfer, which reduced the cost and enhanced the speed in data transfer at the university.

Honoring her 47 years legacy in service to the university, the university honored Ghada Mazbar, the director assistant at the Registration and Admissions Department, who will retire at the end of this academic year 2018-2019, leaving behind a tremendous legacy of mentoring during her years at the university.

At the end of the ceremony, the graduates received their certificates after they professed their commitment to the graduates’ oath.