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Your Excellency Prime Minister Najib Mikati
Your Excellencies
Distinguished Guests
Dear Members of the Azm University Community
Graduating Students
Welcome to the first Azm University Graduation Ceremony

Thank you all for being here and sharing this occasion with us. I see that the auditorium is full to capacity. As our university grows we will have to take this into consideration.

I want to use this opportunity to address our Graduating Students, to whom this ceremony really belongs.

Dear Seniors, soon to be graduates, this is a very significant day for you. You have had to cope with a lot. I hope we made you sweat and lose sleep studying for your exams or preparing a project. But I also hope that you had fun being here, made lasting friendships, learned a lot, acquired a skill, and, in some cases, decided on a career.

Be certain, that all of you are here today because you deserve to be – each one of you a somewhat a different person to the one that came to this university 3, 4 or 5 years ago. Wiser, I am sure, and more informed.

But I also want you to always remember that this is a very significant day for us too, for us faculty and staff.

You are a very special group of students to us. You came to this university when it first opened its door, in its very first years, having been promised by us, and by the reputation that Azm institutions enjoy in this city, that you would receive a quality education. It was then just that, a promise.

Thanks to the leadership of our Board of Trustees, to the leadership of our first president, Dr. Hilal Hanafi, and to that of our very dear Dr. Farid Chaaban here with us today on stage, and to the wonderfully committed and capable faculty and staff of this university, thanks to all of them we have kept that promise. Despite its youth, Azm University is today recognized as a leading institution in the North of Lebanon.

We have built a reputation for excellence in all of our faculties because of your deans, your professors, the staff, but also because of the way that you responded to their challenges. Great universities are made by great faculty, and staff, but necessarily also by the quality of their students. What was accomplished here at Azm could not have been accomplished without you.

We are very proud of what you have done and you have every reason to be proud of yourselves.

Our job has been and will continue to be, to maintain the highest standards possible and as we move forward, year by year, the reputation of this university I am sure will continue to grow.

In this age of globalization, we recognize that universities can no longer compete only locally. So, it is not enough for us to be a leading university in the North. Our job is to prepare our graduates to work and compete anywhere, and therefore we operate on the principle that we must rise to the standards of great universities everywhere.

In today’s world, a university in Tripoli or anywhere else, has to offer its students the same opportunities and advantages that a university in Beirut, or in Dubai, or in Cairo, or in the West does. Our graduates must be as prepared to confront the challenges of globalization as the graduates of the best universities. We are committed to doing just that. The ambition of the founders, and of the faculty and staff, is to join the ranks of the best, and we are moving quickly and resolutely in that direction.

I want you, our graduates, in turn, to aim high. Be ambitious. You are ready for it. Today’s job market has become difficult, not just in Lebanon, but also in the region. But soon, I believe, this will change. You are as ready as anyone to face the challenges confronting you. Some of you have already been accepted to master’s programs at the American University of Beirut, at the Lebanese University or at Balamand. Others have already embarked on their careers.

What I ask of you is that as you move ahead, not to forget us, and to always consider Azm University your home. Drop by and visit us at times. You are a very special group of students to us, and we will always remember you and be happy to see you.

I wish you all good luck and Godspeed.
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