GCU students celebrate graduating from unique university

25 June 2014

Khalid Mohammed Abdulrahim

Khalid Mohammed Abdulrahim

A moving speech from GCU Honorary Professor Eva Haller helped GCU students to celebrate their success in the first of two graduation ceremonies held in the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre on Wednesday, June 25. 

Professor Eva Haller, GCU Honorary Professor and Magnusson Fellow, and her husband Dr Yoel Haller were each awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters in recognition of their outstanding contributions to philanthropy and social activism.

Graduands from GCU’s School of Health and Life Sciences attended the morning ceremony while students from the University’s School of Engineering and Built Environment were later joined by renowned businessman Khalid Mohammed Abdulrahim during the afternoon ceremony.

Accepting her award in front of graduands, Professor Haller said:

“I am talking to you the students because we are all students, but you are just a little bit luckier than most because you went to the right school. There are no other universities for the common good.

“And now you will go back home, or maybe to foreign countries, to give service, and all things that you studied will become learning, and you will give that learning to others, because you came to the most unique university in the world.

“Your learning is the heart, the brain and the soul and you leave knowing that you have been enriched beyond the academic studies that you came for.”

Around 1000 students travelled to the SECC for the University’s final two summer ceremonies.

The morning ceremony saw students graduate in subjects such as Biomedical Sciences, Social Work, Podiatry and Optometry while the afternoon ceremony saw students from subjects such as Computing, Engineering and Quantity Surveying take to the stage for the traditional ‘capping’ ceremony, carried out by GCU Chancellor and Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.

He told graduands: “Graduations are one of the most memorable days in a young person’s life. It comes at the end of a long journey. It tells you that you are ready to go out and achieve your life purpose.”

During the afternoon ceremony, Khalid Mohammed Abdulrahim, founder and chairman of the KAR Group,  was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Engineering, in recognition of his outstanding achievement, contribution and extensive experience within the construction industry in Bahrain and internationally.

Dr Abdulrahim completed a Masters in Construction Management at GCU in 2005. The KAR Group is responsible for building the £700m Abu Dhabi F1 circuit, as well as the £100m Bahrain equivalent. He helped to establish the KAR Scholarship, now at the end of its fourth year, which helps students experience international construction first hand. He is a generous contributor to the University.  

He told graduates: “I am grateful that my achievements have been recognised outside of my home country. I know how hard you have worked so I would like to thank my fellow graduates.  A good education from a great university will get you the first few steps up the ladder. The rest of it is up to you.”