WMU Graduation Ceremony 2017
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On Sunday, 5 November, the maritime leaders of tomorrow from over 50 countries graduated from the World Maritime University (WMU). With the education and training they have received at WMU, the graduates are ready to be operational and contribute to the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) by the maritime industry in their home countries. They are now equipped to ensure not only the safe, environmentally sound, energy efficient and secure shipping on clean oceans, but also to promote and help implement sustainable maritime and ocean development.
Mr Kitack Lim, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General and WMU Chancellor and the first to hold a MSc degree from WMU, conferred the degrees on the graduates.
The graduating Class of 2017 represents the largest class - 296 Graduates - in the history of WMU to date. It is composed of 133 MSc graduates from the Malmö headquarters, 54 graduates from the China programme, making a total number of 187 MSc graduates in 2017; six PhD graduates this year; and 103 graduates from our distance learning programme. The 2017 graduation ceremony brings the total number of WMU graduates to 4,652 from 167 countries.
WMU President, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, delivered the welcome remarks. The President thanked the City of Malmö and the Government of Sweden for their continued generosity and support in hosting the University, as well as the many donors for their ongoing commitment to the WMU mission and its sustainability. She encouraged the graduates on their return home to support their Governments, industry and other institutions, to use the expertise they have gained and to contribute actively to the achievement of the UN SDGs by 2030. “You are standing on the shoulders of giants, and will now join the exceptional international network of WMU graduates who came before you and are already making a difference for a better world. Use the expertise you have gained to nurture and inspire those around you to broaden their horizons, to create positive impact and to continue to contribute to the sustainable development of your country and in the maritime, marine, ports and ocean fields,” she stated.
The Guest of Honour was Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, Commandant, United States Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He congratulated the graduates noting the conclusion of their studies was not an end, but rather a beginning. With today’s unprecedented rate of change, he emphasized that keeping pace is necessary to avoid finding yourself as part of the past. He maintained that economic prosperity is enabled by maritime trade, which is in turn dependent on strong maritime partnerships. “Keep contact with your fellow students because they will be the world leaders. It is amazing that WMU transcends all cultural boundaries and animosities and is a bridging mechanism as we grow world leaders who will be relevant in the 21st century to come, and beyond,” he stated.
Representing WMU’s host city of Malmö, The Chairman of the Malmö City Council, Mr Kent Andersson, who is also a WMU Governor, addressed the gathering. He noted that in addition to providing professional training in all important areas in the maritime field, WMU is contributing to scientific knowledge with an expanded research agenda. He highlighted that WMU is making concrete contributions to nearly half of the seventeen UN SDGs, and imparting that knowledge of implementation to the students. He stated, “It is time to return home with new knowledge, new skills, and competencies which I am sure your countries will be eager to use and will surely benefit from.”
In the graduation address, Chancellor Lim spoke of the importance of the shipping industry in shaping the modern world. Despite the fact that shipping often goes unremarked, its impact on every facet of our lives is incalculable. Mr Lim emphasized the value of learning from others, and in particular, the value of learning in the multi-national, multi-cultural, and multi-professional environment of WMU. “WMU graduates, you are the present and the future of shipping. We are one family. You play a key role in leading the global maritime community into the future. Together we can achieve great success through sound collaboration and communication,” he stated.
Honorary awards made during the ceremony included the award of Honorary Fellow to Dr Mahin Faghfouri in recognition of her immense achievements and experience in maritime legislation, multimodal transport and oceans affairs, and of the two decades she imparted her knowledge to generations of WMU students as a Visiting Professor. Honorary Fellow was also awarded in absentia to Dr Hans Ludwig Beth in recognition of his service to WMU as a Visiting Professor for twenty years, imparting his specialized knowledge of shipping economics and logistics as well as hosting generations of students at the Port of Hamburg for field studies. Mr Larry Muller and Mr Ambrose Chu Hin Wong from the Class of 1993 both received the award of Outstanding Alumnus for their unique joint service to the University as composers of the WMU Song, sung across the globe every year since 1992.
Mr Mohamed Rowihil, President of the Student Council, also addressed the gathering. He asked the audience to reflect on what is so powerful about WMU, “Please take a moment to look around you. Look into the faces of those sitting beside you, in front of you, behind you. This is what WMU is all about: diversity and bringing people from the corners of the world together towards a common goal for the good of mankind.”
During the ceremony, the annual student awards were announced. The Chancellor's Medal for Academic Excellence for the MSc in Maritime Affairs 2017 in Malmö was awarded to Mr Yasser Bayoumy A. Farag from Egypt, for the Dalian MSc Programme to Mr Yu Yunfei from China, and for the Shanghai MSc Programme to Mr Lu Jieling from China. The Pierre Léonard Prize for the Best Female Student was awarded to Ms Brume-Eruagbere Omovigho from Nigeria. Ms Min Jung from the Republic of Korea received the Lloyd´s Maritime Academy Dissertation Prize and the Lloyd’s Maritime Academy Distance Learning Prize was awarded to Mr Leonidas Humberto Villagran Cepeda from Ecuador. The C P Srivastava Award for International Fellowship was awarded to Mr Olumide Bolarinwa Ajayi from Nigeria.
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