Commencement Speech – Ammar Abo Al Ragheb

Your Eminence Cardinal Edwin O’Brien,

Your Eminence Archbishop Pier Battista Pizzaballa,

Your Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,



Fellow classmates,

My dear AUM family,


Good evening.

  • Today, we are gathered to celebrate no small achievement. Today, we celebrate the culmination of our lives’ hardest work thus far. Today, we review the past, live in the now, and eagerly look forward to the well-deserved future success that we have created for ourselves.
  • All of our journeys over the past four years have been uniquely different, with a distinct story of inspiration, passion, and perseverance behind each. The people sitting around you, although similar to you in many ways, could very well relate a special story unique to them, and no one else.
  • That being said, my story goes like this:
    • Driven by an insatiable desire to better myself in all regards – academically, professionally, socially, and the list goes on – I sought out a place that would not only prepare me for a better future, but that I would be able to consider a new home, where I could enjoy every moment.
  • To be frank, at first, it was difficult for me, as I am sure it was for many of you: a new community, new faces, new areas of study… The daunting and often intimidating task of accepting the new can sometimes break us, but when we rise above and let this new experience flood in, this is when we truly flourish.
  • And so I opened my mind, everything fell into place, and I indeed thrived here at AUM.
  • You see, at AUM, we are not only students with individualistic goals, split from those around us. Rather, our goals are intrinsically connected to those of our classmates, something that every member of this family recognizes.
  • The extensive group work inspires idea sharing, the small class size sparks deeper, more thoughtful conversations and expedited learning, and the far reaching support system of each other, our educators, and the administration lifts us up so that our goals become within reach.
  • In my time here, my peers have taught me one of the most important lessons of my life: when we work together, we are able to achieve much more.
  • And isn’t that what it’s really about after all? In this world of ours, we are able to be closer to each other than ever before. This closeness comes with its ups and downs, allowing us to get to know people who are different, but can also sometimes be detrimental should our minds remain closed and should we be apprehensive about the unknown.
  • But at AUM, these differences make us stronger. In fact AUM embraces our differences and diversity. This welcoming, peaceful, friendly atmosphere is what all of us will remember and what every new student will value for years and years to come.
  • AUM has opened to me, all of you, students before us, and will continue to open to students after us new doors, new opportunities, and truly boundless possibilities.
  • So, my cherished classmates, my professors to whom I owe the utmost of gratitude, and members of the administration, who embody the true essence of this university and what it stands for, today officially marks the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one.
  • We will not forget what inspired change in us and what has made us who we are today; rather, we will take the connections we have made, use the knowledge we have obtained, and be proud of the achievements we have reached in order to embark on an entirely new journey.
  • As a proud Jordanian, I would like to leave you all with a quote from our beloved crown prince, His Royal Highness Prince Al Hussein Bin Abdullah II: “If we are to turn chances into life changes, then we, the youth, must be prepared to receive and make the most of the support we get.”

Likewise, AUM, our family for the past four years, has given the mobilizing support needed to go above and beyond in achieving our dreams. And now, it is truly up to us to take what AUM has given us and make the most out of it.

  • Sometimes in life we focus on our accomplishments and achievements so much that we forget the reason behind all that, our family. Thank you for being our biggest supporters, thank you for constantly putting our happiness before your own, thank you for loving us unconditionally.
  • And now congratulations to you all, and I wish you the best of luck, the happiest of lives, and the most remarkable of experiences in your futures.
  • CLASS OF 2017!!!!