WMU Graduation Ceremony 2016

On Saturday, 29 October, maritime leaders and experts of tomorrow from over 50 countries graduated from the World Maritime University (WMU) in the Class of 2016. WMU has equipped these graduates to contribute to safe, environmentally sound, energy efficient and secure shipping on clean oceans. They will now return to their home countries to utilize the education and training they have received at WMU and contribute to the effective implementation of the goals and objectives of IMO as well the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr. Kitack Lim, the first International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General and WMU Chancellor to hold a MSc degree from WMU, conferred the degrees on two PhD candidates, 114 graduates from the Malmö MSc programme,  35  of whom were women, several students from the MSc programmes in Shanghai and Dalian, China, as well as a number of postgraduate diploma students who completed their studies by distance learning. In total, 238 students graduated from the Class of 2016. This brings the total number of WMU graduates to 4,354 from 166 countries.

WMU President, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry welcomed the guests, including Mr Efthymios Mitropoulos, Former Secretary-General of the IMO and Chancellor Emeritus of WMU. The President thanked the City of Malmö and the Government of Sweden for their continued generosity and support in hosting the University, as well as the many donors for their ongoing commitment to the expansion of WMU and its mission. In addressing the graduates, the President stated, “You have lived and studied among the most uniquely international student body that any university can boast of – the mini United Nations - making you well qualified to lead the international effort required by our capacity building mission. You are the innovators of change, think forward and remember that despite the negativity that we hear or see, this is the best time in history to be alive and to be able to make a contribution to your community, to your country, to our industry, and to the world.” She encouraged the Graduates to take advantage of the powerful global network of WMU Alumni and to remember WMU as a resource for future collaboration, where the best and brightest from their home countries should be sent to study.

The Guest of Honour at the graduation, Mr Reinhard Klingen, Director-General, Waterways and Shipping of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Germany, in congratulating the graduates stated “With your WMU degree in your hands it is up to you to become the maritime leaders of tomorrow...You are the hope and the future of the maritime sector of your countries and you are the hope and the future of the maritime world.” The Government of Germany has funded 12 WMU students including four in the Class of 2016, and four in the Class of 2017. Mr Klingen characterized WMU as a backbone of support for the goals of the IMO through education research and development cooperation. He stressed Germany’s interest in permanent and positive partnerships with the home countries of WMU students and promised continued support in funding WMU fellowships. As a sign of Germany’s strong commitment to WMU’s mission, Mr Klingen announced that next year, Germany will contribute one million euros to the WMU Endowment Fund to help ensure the future financial sustainability of WMU. He hoped that other nations would follow.

The Chairman of the Malmö City Council, Mr Kent Andersson, who is also a WMU Governor, referred to the transformation of Malmö since the establishment of WMU in 1983. Malmö, he said, has evolved from a Swedish industrial center with a focus on shipbuilding to a sustainability-oriented, international and multi-cultural city centered around education, a perfect environment for the multi-cultural World Maritime University. Chairman Andersson remarked on the significance of WMU as it continues to transform the maritime sector with the increased global influence of its graduates.

In the graduation address, Chancellor Lim recalled his own graduation from the World Maritime University and the sense of responsibility it imparted. “I am inspired to witness a new generation of maritime and oceans leaders who possess a deep understanding of the impact shipping has on every facet of our global economy and society...I am reassured that investing in maritime and oceans higher education is the pathway to establishing a new generation of future leaders with the skills and in-depth knowledge to contribute to the successful implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” he stated. Further, the Chancellor remarked on the role WMU plays as a cornerstone of support for IMO’s mission. He urged IMO member States and the shipping industry stakeholders to follow the lead of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and to engage with the University and support the Endowment Fund to secure the future of WMU.

Before the conferring of degrees on the graduates, Mr Lim conferred the degree of Doctor of Science in Maritime Affairs, honoris causa, on Mr Koji Sekimizu, former IMO Secretary-General and Chancellor Emeritus of WMU. During his tenure as IMO Secretary-General, Mr Sekimizu demonstrated great dedication to the University and commissioned a Study on the Financial Sustainability of the University that led to the establishment of the WMU Endowment Fund.

Additional honorary awards included the award of Honorary Fellow to Ms Marjorie Murtagh Cooke for her achievements in raising the standards of safety in the maritime world and for two decades of sharing her expertise with students at WMU as a visiting professor. Honorary Fellow was also awarded to Mr Karsten Brünings in recognition of his service to WMU since1983 as a visiting professor, in the specialized area of cargo safety on board ships and in ports. Professor Patrick Alderton was awarded Professor Emeritus in recognition of service to WMU as the first professor of Ports and Shipping Administration (later Port Management) from 1989 until his retirement in 1994 and his subsequent substantial publication record.

Mr Anas Saleh Mohammad Alamoush, President of the Student Council also addressed the gathering. He noted that the Class of 2016 with very different backgrounds very quickly looked past their differences and lived together as one family sharing knowledge and experience that increased understanding among them.

During the ceremony, the annual student awards were announced. The Chancellor's Medal for Academic Excellence for the MSc in Maritime Affairs 2016 in Malmö was awarded to Mr Fuad Mardiyv from Azerbaijan, for the Dalian MSc Programme to Mr Ziyang Zhong from China, and for the Shanghai MSc Programme to Mr Liyang Zhou from China. The Pierre Léonard Prize for the Best Female Student was awarded to Ms Mame Diarra Faye from Senegal. Mr Minjung Lee from the Republic of Korea received the Lloyd´s Maritime Academy Dissertation Prize and the Lloyd’s Maritime Academy Distance Learning Prize was awarded to Mr Arne Lippens from Belgium. The C P Srivastava Award for International Fellowship was awarded to Mr Djoro Hyacinthe Gnepa from Côte d'Ivoire.




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