AUC's Class of 2017 celebrates their graduation in Carré
The Graduation Ceremony for the Amsterdam University College Class of 2017 took place on Friday, 7 July, at Koninklijk Theater Carré in the centre of Amsterdam. With more than 245 graduates, the Class of 2017 was the largest in AUC’s history and their accomplishments were festively celebrated with a mix of speeches, performances by students and the ceremonial conferring of degrees.
Community as a theme at AUC
Taking place at Koninklijk Theater Carré for the second time, the graduation ceremony was hosted by third-year AUC Student Council member Fatiya Munkaila and third-year AUC Student Association member Andy Daab. Beginning with the official entry of the students, the afternoon event was opened by an official word of welcome by Prof. Dr. Murray Pratt (Dean, AUC), who introduced the 2017 Commencement Speaker, Prof. Dr. Geert ten Dam (President of the Executive Board, University of Amsterdam).
Prof. Dr. ten Dam delivered a very personal Commencement Address, recounting the story of Kenyan Kimani Maruge to emphasise the importance of curiosity and community. She explained how the Class of 2017 have embodied these ideals during their time at AUC, not only through their studies, but also by using their knowledge to continually give back to the community.
After this inspiring address, the subsequent four rounds of conferring of degrees saw each of the graduating students have their name read aloud and walk the stage to receive their ceremonial certificates. Each round was kicked-off by a speech from one of the tutors: Dr. Wade Geary, Dr. Roland Luttens, Dr. Anco Lankreijer and Breanndán Ó Nualláin. Their speeches included humorous anecdotes, meaningful stories and motivational words which provided a glimpse into the way the tutors have seen their tutees grow over the years.
AUC musicians showcase their talents
Continuing an AUC tradition, the four rounds of conferring of degrees were punctuated with different musical performances by AUC students. For the first performance, students Marie Chaplet, Eva Bottinga, Louis Lallouette, Tadé Hogenelst and Teus Hagen played an upbeat, original number titled “Seasonal Love” featuring jazzy vocals along with saxophone and piano solos. Judith Meskers, Cille Kaiser, Kelly Streekstra and Caroline Meskers added a more solemn flavour to the ceremony with a beautiful fusion of “Wayfaring Stranger/We’ll Be Gone” which incorporated a hang-drum, cello and viola.
The third performance saw more of the AUC community getting involved when the 20 person AUChoir took the stage to perform an acapella medley of “My Heart with You” and an inspired take on the Haitian folk song “Wangol.” Rounding out the series of performances was a band consisting of Tina Maya Varkevisser, Bas Straathof, Lubomir Leegwater, Steijn Muller and Simon de Jong, who ended on a high note with a spirited rendition of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”.
Final speeches and giving back
After the final conferring of degrees, AUC Alumni Association Board Member Andy Daab and ASF Board Members Maryam Alaoui and Prof. Dr. Marijk van der Wende took the stage to welcome the Class of 2017 to the AUC Alumni Association and remind them of the importance of giving back. With the AUC Alumni Association recently raising 1200 EUR for the AUC Scholarship Fund, Prof. Dr. van der Wende took a moment to officially thank them for their donation and generously pledged to match the amount raised with a donation of her own.
The last speech of the evening was delivered by the 2017 AUC Valedictorian, Jasmijn de Zeeuw. De Zeeuw offered words of wisdom for her classmates by discussing her own journey as a student while highlighting her appreciation for the individual characters that she saw come together to form a truly special community that she grew to be part of at AUC.
The ceremony officially came to a close with the traditional throwing of hats and the ordered exit of the AUC procession, new alumni and their guests. AUC would once again like to congratulate all the graduates on their accomplishments and thank all those who participated in the graduation ceremony!
You can watch the ceremony in its entirety below.