EducationWUST Class of 2024: They Turned the Tassels, Cheered, and Held Their...

WUST Class of 2024: They Turned the Tassels, Cheered, and Held Their Degrees High

All the students turned the tassels on their caps from right to left as they were declared graduates. They then held their degrees high, threw their caps into the air, catching them with joy, hugging each other as the hall filled with cheers and rounds of applause. The sound of camera clicks was constant as everyone wanted to capture the moment. Thus, the commencement of the Class of 2024 of Washington University of Science and Technology (WUST) ended. Before that, a total of 213 students from WUST received their degrees in Bachelor’s and master’s, with 55 from the School of Business and 158 from the School of Information Technology.

The event, held at the Alexandria City High School auditorium on Saturday (June 29), was graced by the presence of state leaders and community dignitaries. Gerry Connolly, U.S. Representative, was the keynote speaker, while Karen Keys-Gammara of the Virginia House of Delegates was among the distinguished guest speakers. Abubokor Hanip, the chancellor and board chairman of the university, gave a welcome address, and university president Dr. Hasan K. Burk officially conferred the degrees and delivered the vote of thanks and concluding remarks.

Gerry Connolly emphasized the importance of technology education and congratulated all the graduates on their achievements. He urged them to contribute to society as they join the most educated part of the United States, Northern Virginia, where two-thirds of the adult population have a bachelor’s degree and more than 30% have an advanced degree, twice the national average. Mentioning the relevance of STEM degrees, the U.S. Representative highlighted the use of technology knowledge to overcome challenges such as climate change, pandemics, artificial intelligence, disinformation, and cybercrimes. “We should ensure the use of technology for good, not for malign purposes,” he said.

Engineer Abubokor Hanip, in his welcome address, emphasized the importance of adaptability and urged the students to embrace challenges, overcoming them with the knowledge, values, and qualities they gained from Washington University of Science and Technology.

“You are not just graduates; you are leaders, innovators, and change-makers,” he inspired them.

Sharing his own story of struggle to success, the Bangladeshi-American technology education entrepreneur told the crowd how he has contributed to changing the lives of at least 25,000 people and their family members through skill development and providing opportunities within the American mainstream and around the world.

Ms. Karen Keys-Gammara of the Virginia House of Delegates shared a story from her childhood, describing how her father taught her the value of lifelong learning through simple lessons like doing sit-ups. She urged the graduating students to keep striving to achieve new goals each day and to serve their community.

CFO Farhana Hanip shared her challenging journey in the USA, emphasizing how she overcame obstacles by holding onto her belief in herself and her dreams. “I turned adversity into opportunity, balancing my responsibilities as a mother while pursuing my aspirations,” she said.

Throughout the ceremony, the graduates also heard from several notable figures, including Sheikh Rahman, State Senator from Georgia; Saddam Azlan Salim, State Senator from Virginia; Dr. Hussain Bhuyan, Director of HDD Group, China; Mr. Siddique Sheikh, WUST Board Member; Mrs. Farhana Hanip, WUST CFO; Mr. Mohammad Mahdee-uz Zaman, WUST Board Member; Dr. Saiful Khandaker, CEO and Founder of Fintech Ecosystem Development (Nasdaq: FEXD); Mr. Nasirul Huq, WUST Board Member; and others.

Each of the speakers congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to pursue their future goals and the American dream with perseverance, patience, and passion.

Two valedictorian graduates, Carlos Israel Moreno Hernandez and Zenifer Afroz Chowdhury, highlighted their journeys with WUST, attributing their success to their dedication. Both top students from the School of IT and School of Business praised their faculties and the school administration for smoothing their learning paths and providing supportive care.

Later, each of the 213 students received their degrees one after another amid cheers and applause. Professor Apostolos Eliopoulos, Director of the School of IT, and Dr. Mark Robinson, Director of the School of Business, handed out the degrees to the graduates from their respective schools.

Dr. Hasan Karaburk took over the microphone to officially declare all the students graduated and to complete the formalities. He thanked all the members of WUST leadership, faculty members, and officials, emphasizing the value of the teamwork that thrives at Washington University of Science and Technology.

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