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481 students receive honors at AIT’s Quasquicentennial Graduation

As four-hundred and eighty-one students from 27 countries graduated to join the over 21,000-strong alumni body, the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) crossed a significant milestone of holding its 125th Graduation ceremony.

AIT’s Quasquicentennial Graduation also reached another landmark on 19 May 2016, when Benin became the 101st country in the list of countries and territories from where AIT graduates hail.

The day’s graduates came from the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe, with Sri Lanka graduating the most number of students (100), followed by Thailand (77), Myanmar and Vietnam (58 each), and India and Nepal (47 each).

Delivering the Graduation Message, AIT President Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai said: “Life is a journey, and all accomplishments should be taken as a starting point for further achievements.”  He complimented the students for their achievement and welcomed them into the global network of AIT alumni. “I am confident that your time at AIT’s international and multicultural setting has prepared you for your life’s journey,” the AIT President said. Prof. Worsak exhorted students to continue their association with AIT, and also contribute to AIT. Giving back to AIT will help you feel great and also help the Institute in continuing to produce world class citizens, Prof. Worsak added.

The Graduation Address during the Morning Ceremony was delivered by Dr. Doulaye Koné, Deputy Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Be the best at what you are doing. From now on, each of you will be making important decisions, and these decisions will have profound impact on people’s life,” Dr. Koné said. He asked graduates to think about the most vulnerable people while designing their projects. Remember that both the rich and the poor are the same human beings with same aspirations, Dr. Koné remarked.

H.E. Mr. Jesús Miguel Sanz, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union in Thailand, while delivering the Graduation Address during the Afternoon Session asked students to be cognizant of the need to steer the world towards a sustainable future. Engineers and graduates from Southeast Asia have to play an important role in this regard. “Our society needs you graduates to work towards addressing the challenges that we are facing,” Ambassador Sanz said. Describing EU and ASEAN as natural partners, he mentioned the benefits of regional integration which Europe has reaped, and hoped that Southeast Asia would benefit from regional cooperation.

Delivering the message as a Prominent Alumnus during the Morning Session, Dr. Tong Ki Woo, Governor of Education, Daegu Metropolitan City, Korea recalled how 33 years ago, he was also seated at AIT to receive his degree.”I was full of excitement and I have many beautiful memories from my 20 months of AIT,” Dr. Woo said. He stated that one of his “most distinctive memory was the intimate friendships that he was able to forge with students from various countries,” and through which he was able to obtain a new awareness of Asia. He envisoned the concept of “dreams beyond dreams,” where he suggested the establishment of an “Asia Pacific Education Community” to fulfil this vision.

Dr. Suleeporn Choopavang, Director of Foreign Affairs Department, Office of the Chaipattana Foundation delivered the message as a Prominent Alumnus during the Afternoon Session. Inspiring students to embrace the culture of “sharing and giving,” Dr. Choopavang asked graduates to work towards changing lives. “When you are able to change lives, you feel elevated, proud and happy,” she said. When you achieve success, people will eventually join you, she added. She asked students to believe in the power of giving, stating that it is contagious and the more one gives, the more one receives.

The 125th Graduation also saw the conferment of the title of Emeritus Professor on Prof. Chongrak Polprasert, Prof Vinod Jindal and Prof Dennes Bergado. Dr. Rajendra Prasad Shrestha, Dr. Kyoko Kusakabe and Dr. Manukid Parnichkun were installed as Professors. Dr. Avishek Datta and Dr. Masahiko Nagai were honoured with the AIT Teaching Award of 2015, while Dr. Thammarat Koottatep and Dr. Kunnawee Kanitpong received the AIT 2015 Distinguished Researcher Awards.

Dr. Vivek Mohan of School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD) and Dr. Adnan Nawaz of School of Engineering and Technology (SET) delivered the message on behalf of Doctoral Graduates. Mr. Suphamid Sriwattanachia, recipient of the AIT Alumni Association Prize and co-winner of the Hisamatsu Prize, and Ms. Kalumith Upeka Madhavi De Silva, winner of the Hiromichi Seya Prize, delivered the messages on behalf of Master’s students.

Prof. Sivanappan Kumar, Vice President for Academic Affairs was the Master of Ceremonies at the graduation. Candidates were presented for award of degrees by the Chair of the Academic Senate, Prof. Mukand Singh Babel, and the Deans of their respective schools — Prof. Voratas Kachitvichyanukul, Dean, School of Engineering and Technology (SET); Prof. Rajendra Shrestha of School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD); and Prof. Nazrul Islam of School of Management (SOM).  The intermission numbers was provided by children of the AIT International School.

Scholarships for candidates who graduated today were provided by Governments, international organizations and foundations, national and local governments, universities and colleges, businesses and other organizations.

Photo Albums from the Graduation are available at these links:
Facebook
Album I https://goo.gl/c1oixd
Album II https://goo.gl/FHBA57
Album III https://goo.gl/0buHpA

Google+
Album I https://goo.gl/3LYJci
Album II https://goo.gl/dFTkPv
Album III https://goo.gl/cWxNv2