CHATTOGRAM, BANGLADESH – Media OutReach – 21 January 2023 – After a hiatus of three years as a result of Covid-19, over 1500 people — graduating students from the Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022, faculty and staff, and guests from home and abroad will gather in an open air pavilion at the permanent campus site of the Asian University for Women (AUW) in Chittagong’s Baizid Area to celebrate its Tenth Commencement. Flags of all 19 nations from which AUW draws its students will adorn the pathway to the pavilion and segments of the national anthem of each will be sung by the AUW Choir in a symbolic call for unity. The ceremony will be held within a hundred meters of where the new Campus Center building, designed by eminent architect Moshe Safdie, is going up in construction.
Four Hundred and Eighty Six students hailing from Afghanistan; Bangladesh; Bhutan; Cambodia; the People’s Republic of China; Indonesia; Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Palestine; Senegal; Sri Lanka; Syria; and Vietnam will be conferred their undergraduate degrees. Vice Chancellor Dr. Rubana Huq will lead the conferrals.
The Commencement Ceremony, presided over by Chancellor Cherie Blair, international human rights lawyer and wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Dipu Moni (who is also Bangladesh’s Education Minister), will confer a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, to Professor John Edward Sexton, President Emeritus of New York University (NYU) and former dean of NYU Law School in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to global higher education as the architect, champion and maker of NYU’s Global Network which saw new NYU campuses built in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai and other centers spanning the world.
Professor Sunil Amrith, Renu and Anand Dhawan Professor of History at Yale University in the United States and Professor Rupa Viswanath, Professor of Indian Religions at the University of Gottingen in Germany will be inducted as Distinguished Honorary Professors.
AUW will also announce a number of new milestone initiatives during the course of the Commencement:
HSBC-AUW School of Apparel & Retail Management. Funded by philanthropic support from the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation – HSBC, the new HSBC-AUW School of Apparel & Retail Management will offer a one year Master of Science in Apparel and Retail Management. Guided by a Global Academic Committee chaired by Dr. Dipak Jain, former Dean of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University (who also served as Dean of INSEAD in Fontainbleau, France), this new Masters Program will prepare young female professionals with expertise in fashion, merchandising, supply chain management, brand management, and occupational health and safety issues. It is intended to help the burgeoning ready made garments (RMG) industry induct more female talent in management roles. This new initiative builds on an ongoing program at AUW, originally created with funding from the Ikea Foundation, to academically prepare and induct talented RMG workers to pursue their undergraduate studies at AUW.
Dalit Education & Empowerment Program. AUW has committed to begin a decade-long special initiative to support the education and empowerment of 600 young women from Dalit families from across South Asia.
New Majors in (i) Humanities and (ii) Computer Sciences. In the autumn of 2023, AUW will introduce two new undergraduate majors. The Humanities major will encompass study of Literature, History, Religion and Philosophy. The Computer Sciences major will follow the curricular structure and content from the leading undergraduate computer sciences programs and will be taught in a hybrid form with participation of resident and non-resident faculty.
Mariam Mirzakhani Chair in Mathematics. AUW will establish an endowed chair in mathematics named after Mariam Mirzakhani, the Iranian mathematician educated in Sharif University in Iran and at Harvard University in the United States, who went on to win the Fields Medal prior to her untimely death from cancer.
The Commencement proceedings will be followed by a two-day international conference on Can Universities Shape Society? Reflections, Ideas, and Dreams. The conference is dedicated to honor the memory of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year old Iranian woman who was murdered while in the custody of State authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran on Seotember 22 2022 after being arrested by its Morality Police on the ground of her lacking adequate hijab. We hope that by dedicating the conference to Mahsa Amini more people will be inspired to fight the unbearable injustice of unequal treatment of women anywhere. Woman, Life, Freedom!
For detailed program schedule and outline, please see: https://asian-university.org/auw-10th-commencement-ceremony-and-conference/
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About Asian University for Women (AUW):
Founded in 2008 and located in Chattogram, Bangladesh, AUW is the first of its kind: a regional institution dedicated to women’s education and leadership development through liberal arts and sciences education. It is international in outlook but rooted in the contexts and aspirations of the people of Asia. Chartered by the Parliament of Bangladesh, AUW exists solely to support a rising network of women leaders, entrepreneurs, and changemakers from across the region. It seeks out women who show significant academic achievement and potential, demonstrate courage and a sense of outrage at injustice, and are empathic to the woes of other people.
1322 students from 18 countries currently attend AUW: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria, Timor Leste, Vietnam, and Yemen. More than 85% of AUW students are on full or near-full scholarships funded by supporters from around the world. The University has graduated over a thousand students to date. A majority of AUW graduates secure employment in the private and public sectors in their home countries while about 25% go on to pursue graduate studies at other institutions of higher learning including Oxford, Cambridge, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Columbia, Duke, Brandeis and Tufts, among others. To learn more about Asian University for Women, please visit https://asian-university.org.