On Friday, December 2, EARTH culminated a week of graduation activities by sending 93 new agronomic engineers from 26 countries into the world. Each new leader of change was received with open arms by proud loved ones, faculty members, University supporters and on his final commencement ceremony, President José Zaglul.
President Zaglul shared his parting wisdom and appreciation for his 28 years of service at EARTH, while American University of Beirut Board Chairman, Philip S. Khoury, gave the keynote address to the class. All attendees enjoyed a special performance from the Costa Rican Youth Symphony.
A number of individuals were recognized during the ceremony, including Philip S. Khoury, Malcolm Wilson and Pedro León, who both received honorary degrees from the University. The MasterCard Foundation Scholar Aura Cristina Bolaños (’16, Colombia) and Marco Vega (’16, Costa Rica) both received EARTH’s Best Classmate Award for their strong compassion and friendship to every student, and Carol Fuentes (’16, Costa Rica) was awarded the EARTH Prize for her outstanding academic performance and demonstrated leadership on campus.
In the days leading up to graduation a number of other awards were given to graduating students, including The MasterCard Foundation Scholar, Sindy Ramos (Guatemala, ’16), who received the Sustainability Prize for her project that produces and markets crafts made of banana fiber waste by rural women in Guatemala, and The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Aura Cristina Bolaños (Colombia, ’16) and Abigael Pertet (Kenya, ’16), who both received the Heliconia Award, given to students who best demonstrate the ethics, values and character of an EARTH graduate.
Graduating students were also joined by 76 EARTH alumni, who returned to campus to celebrate their five, ten, fifteen and twenty year reunions. Members of the class of 2016 are now a part of more than 2,100 EARTH alumni from 40 countries.