Cape Cod Student Graduates from NYU Abu Dhabi

Another local graduate makes us proud...

Abu Dhabi, UAE – NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) today honored the Class of 2019 at its sixth commencement ceremony. Degrees were conferred to some 275 students from more than 75 countries, including more than 30 US students, at the ceremony, which took place at the University’s campus on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is the University’s largest graduating class to date.

Chairman of the NYU Board of Trustees William R. Berkley, NYU President Andrew Hamilton and NYU Abu Dhabi Vice Chancellor Al Bloom officiated at the ceremony. Keynote speaker Bonnie St. John addressed the audience of more than 1,400 graduating students, families, faculty, and alumni. St. John is a Paralympic ski medalist, Fortune 500 business consultant, Rhodes Scholar, former White House official, and best-selling author.

American students in NYUAD’s Class of 2019 include:

  • Lama Ahmad (Dearborn, MI) studied Social Research and Public Policy. Ahmad’s Capstone project shed light on the internet research agency Twitter propaganda in the 2016 US Presidential Election.
  • Sarah Booth (Sandwich, MA) studied Social Research and Public Policy. Booth’s Capstone project analyzed female migration, adaptation, and child health in urban India.
  • Maya Morsli’s (Seattle, Washington) Capstone project explored the extent to which modesty, as an element of the eternal feminine, poses a threat to female autonomy.
  • Leslie Gray (Little Rock, Arkansas) studied Theatre. Gray’s Capstone project was a case study of Beirut Pride and the implications of Pride in the Middle East. 
  • Reine Defranco (Louisville, Colorado) studied Interactive Media and Arts Practice. Defranco’s Capstone project was an art exhibition featuring recreations of ancient Greek statues using large-scale charcoal drawings to deconstruct the ideal of male beauty as depicted by the original statues.

During their four years, the Class of 2019, NYUAD’s largest class to date,  has excelled in academic and extracurricular pursuits, earning top honors, including Rhodes Scholarships, UAE Fulbright Award, Schwarzman Scholarships and the University’s first Luce Scholarship, among others. In total, graduates from the Class of 2019 represented more than 75 countries, the largest population from the US followed by the UAE, China, Pakistan, India, Egypt, and South Korea.

For more than half of Class of 2019, their next step will be to start new jobs and begin applying all they’ve learned during their time at NYUAD to the workforce. Many will travel across the globe to pursue opportunities in technology, government, the creative industries, engineering, finance, law, policy, and other areas.

Others will go onto further study and have already been accepted to graduate programs in disciplines spanning public health, computer science, psychology, public policy, education, and film. Many will be studying for degrees at the world’s leading institutions including Harvard University, Columbia University, Paris School of Economics, University of Oxford, Maastricht University, and Tsinghua University.

This was Bloom’s final commencement ceremony as Vice Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi. Mariet Westermann – Executive Vice President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, former provost of NYU Abu Dhabi, former director of NYU's Institute of Fine Arts, and art historian – will become the Vice Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi, effective August 1, 2019.

The video of the full ceremony is available on NYU Abu Dhabi’s website.

Learn more about the Class of 2019. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on