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Dartmouth College awards AUK's Sheikha Dana Al-Sabah with honorary Doctorate
June 12, 2017, 10:41 am

US Ivy League member, Dartmouth College, awarded on Sunday Sheikha Dana Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah with a Doctorate of Humane Letters for founding Kuwait's first and only liberal arts university.

Dartmouth, that is consistently ranked among the world's greatest academic institutions, recognized nine accomplished men and women including Sheikha Dana, the first Arab women, with honorary degrees at the College's 2017 Commencement. During his speech, President Phil Hanlon, acknowledged Al-Sabah's guidance to the institution as Chair of the Board of Trustees with "creativity, integrity, and a deep commitment to pluralism and global learning.

" As a devoted partner to Dartmouth, Hanlon said Al-Sabah has enriched the experiences of students, faculty and staff at both institutions through "robust cross-cultural internships, fellowships, and research partnerships." Therefore, for her pioneering spirit, commitment to academic excellence in the liberal arts tradition, and dedication to providing students in Kuwait with the breadth and depth of knowledge required for leadership in the contemporary world, Dartmouth's president proudly awarded her the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

After the ceremony, Al-Sabah, the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Kuwait (AUK), told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) she is honored and proud for receiving such distinction from a prestigious institution as Dartmouth College, and being the only Arab today among notable scientists, athletes, philanthropists, artists, entrepreneurs, and journalists.

"I dedicate this distinction to my country, its leader His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, my family, AUK's co-founders and the beautiful dedicated AUK community without whom I would not be here," she said.

She emphasized on the role played by the Government of Kuwait for believing and supporting private universities.

In 2001, an Amiri Decree was issued to enable the private sector of investing in establishing institutions of higher education. Al-Sabah who is also the chairwoman of United Education Co. (UEC), Kuwait's leading company in the educational sector, said she was first exposed to Liberal Arts Education at Indiana University, Bloomington in 1990, where she took courses in philosophy, literature, art history, and critical thinking.

In 2003, a University based on the American model of Literal Arts education was established. According to Al-Sabah, their aim was to build a model that inspires intellectual curiosity and critical thinking and that encourages both students and faculty to think across disciplines, ask better questions, and prepare for a world in which change is inevitable, sometimes disruptive and often unpredictable, especially in the Middle East region.

Thirteen years later, with over 3,500 graduates, many of whom have and are pursuing their higher education in the US, some in Ivy Leagues institution, Al-Sabah said "we find ourselves as the leading institution in the Liberal Arts realm in Kuwait." Such accomplishment, she added, would not have been possible without Dartmouth's continuous guidance and support throughout their journey from inception to present. "Our partnership is instrumental as we continue to advocate the liberal arts over more conventional forms of education," she said.

Dartmouth College, founded in 1769, in Hanover, New Hampshire, is the international partner institution to the AUK. Both institutions have worked closely together since 2003, when they signed a Memorandum of Understanding that facilitated a series of advisory, consultative, and cooperative projects. The initial agreement was recently renewed for a third time in April 2013 to extend through 2018.

Dartmouth and AUK share a commitment to excellence in higher learning, and the agreement between them reflects AUK's growing stature as a premier academic institution in the Gulf region and beyond.

Source: KUNA

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