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AUW holds its Second Commencement
Chittagong, Bangladesh
17, May, 2014

The Asian University for Women (AUW) in Chittagong, Bangladesh celebrated its second Commencement, graduating 131 students from 12 countries. Of the 131 graduates, 62 came from Bangladesh, 4 from Afghanistan, 5 from Bhutan, 3 from Cambodia, 1 from China, 9 from India, 2 from Myanmar, 12 from Nepal, 7 from Pakistan, 2 from Palestine, 18 from Sri Lanka, and 6 from Vietnam. Virtually all students received full financial aid covering all costs of room, board and tuition. Most of the graduating students arrived at the AUW campus five years ago. They completed the one-year Access Academy course and then pursued a four-year undergraduate course in the liberal arts and sciences. This year’s graduating class represents the first group of students from the West Bank of Palestine to have graduated from AUW.

The class speaker, Tanjila Drishti from Bangladesh, said “AUW has helped us grow respect and tolerance for all cultures, enabled us to question norms that we perhaps did not even think about before. This institution has not only educated us with the finest faculty and best resources in the region but also inspired us to rise higher in life making our own ethical decisions and empowered us to try for a better life for not only us but for others in our communities.”

The Commencement was attended by family, friends, faculty, staff, and many distinguished guests including, H.E. Mr. Abul Hassan Mohamood Ali, M.P. Foreign Minister of Bangladesh who spoke as the Chief Guest.

Kathy Matsui, Managing Director & Chief Japan Strategist of Goldman Sachs, Co-Chair of the AUW Japan Support Committee, and one of the original founders of the Asian University for Women, was the Commencement Speaker.

In her remarks, Kathy praised the accomplishments of the Class of 2014: “I can’t help but feel incredibly proud, as well as optimistic about the future. Like many AUW supporters around the world, we all strongly believe that women’s education is the key to a peaceful and sustainable future, and I am confident that with such powerful and inspirational leaders such as you, the world is in good hands.”

Lady Judy Moody-Stuart, prominent social activist in London and wife of Sir Mark Moody Stuart, former Chairman of Shell Oil Company, was also honored at the Commencement with an honorary degree. Lady Judy was one of the pioneering supporters of AUW who served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Asian University for Women Support Foundation. She and her family have also created an endowed scholarship at AUW to support a Palestinian student to attend the university in Chittagong.

With over 260 alumnae now spread across Asia and the Middle East, the AUW vision of change making through the commitment and capability and vision of its graduates working collaboratively within and across countries is already being actualized. As year after year more of our students graduate and demonstrate more of their life’s energy, a veritable transformation in women’s status and the region’s condition in general will follow.

You can read more about the special day in the following articles:

http://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2014/05/17/bangladeshs-women-empowerment-goal

http://www.thedailystar.net/city/second-convocation-of-auw-held-24589