The University of Prince Edward Island held its Convocation ceremony on June 5 at its campus in the New Administrative Capital, Egypt. The Class of 2023 was the second to graduate from the UPEI Cairo Campus, the first international branch campus established in Egypt.
More than a hundred graduates in the faculties of Business Administration, Sustainable Design Engineering, and Mathematical and Computational Sciences received their degrees from Dr. Greg Keefe, interim President and Vice-Chancellor of UPEI, who presided over the ceremony on behalf of the Honourable Catherine Callbeck, Chancellor of UPEI.
In his address to the graduates, Keefe remarked on the internationalization of the University both in Prince Edward Island and abroad.
“It is a very special honour for me, as Vice-Chancellor, to preside at this, UPEI’s second convocation at the Cairo Campus, on Chancellor Callbeck’s behalf,” said Keefe. “Students come from all walks of life and from local, regional, national, and international locations to study and learn at UPEI in Canada. In the fall of 2022, international students from 96 countries comprised almost 32 percent of the University’s total enrolment of students. This tradition of excellence and global reach now extends to the UPEI Cairo Campus. The University is proud to be offering our students in Egypt the best in higher education.” He congratulated graduates for their resilience and commitment to excellence during the pandemic, adding, “Our Class of 2023 has been on a roller coaster ride to reach today’s momentous occasion. You have shown incredible poise and resilience. Despite the pandemic and other challenges, you faced—you adapted. Amid the uncertainty, you carried on. And, through it all, you showed an exceptional capacity to learn. Graduates, the way you have persevered has made all of us very Panther proud.”
Dr. Kim Critchley, Provost of the UPEI Cairo Campus, served as master of ceremonies while special guests from Universities of Canada in Egypt (UCE) included Dr. Magdy ElKady, Chair of the Board of Governors; Dr. Ramy Sallam, President; Dr. Hadia Hamdy, Vice-President for Academic and Strategic Initiatives; and Dr. Mohamed Salama, Assistant Vice-President, Academic, and Strategic Initiatives, who also served as Marshal during the ceremony.
Dr. Sallam addressed the graduates on behalf of UCE. “I am standing here to convey to you our immense pride and joy in celebrating the convocation of UPEI Cairo Class of 2023…. Today, we are sending more than 100 ambassadors to the world, armed with knowledge and lots of hope for the future. While starting this new chapter in your lives, be assured that the education you have received here at the UPEI Cairo Campus has equipped you not only with knowledge but also with the skills and resilience to navigate the challenges ahead.”
In addition to Dr. Keefe, attending from UPEI were Dr. Wayne Peters, Dean, Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering, and Dr. Tarek Mady, Dean, Faculty of Business. Participants from the UPEI Cairo Campus
included Dr. Rasha El Shafei, Associate Provost of UPEI Cairo Campus and Associate Dean, Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering; Dr. Ahmed Elsheikh, Associate Dean, Faculty of Mathematical and Computational Sciences; Dr. Nesma Ammar, Associate Dean, Faculty of Business Administration; and Ms. Elbatoul Hammad, UPEI Cairo alumni representative.
Valedictorian Fahad Umaru, who graduated from the Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering, delivered an inspiring address to his fellow graduates, commenting on how UPEI Cairo felt like home to them throughout their time at the university.
“UPEI Cairo is not just a place of learning. It is a place where we can all just be ourselves. Some of us graduating today joined the music band. Some joined a club. Some joined the Student Union, and some created the first engineering, computer science, and business societies. We have all had our separate journeys that made us reach this point, and now, we’re finally graduating,” said Umaru. “One thing about our environment that we all agree on is that not only were faculty and friends family to us, everyone at UPEI Cairo was family.” Joseph Boshra, a Bachelor of Business Administration graduate, was presented with the award for the highest academic standing among the graduating class.
Following the awarding of their degrees, the graduates received a UPEI pin and card from the UPEI Alumni Association as the newest members of the Panthers-for-Life family.