By Puja Bhetwal and the Public Affairs Office
19 May 2023 – The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) commemorated its 139th Graduation Ceremony, marking a significant milestone for 243 accomplished graduates who proudly donned their graduation attire and were presented with well-deserved degrees. The event showcased the remarkable achievements of students from the School of Engineering and Technology (SET), School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD), and School of Management (SOM).
During his address to the graduates, AIT President Prof. Kazuo Yamamoto commended their unwavering dedication and hard work. He encouraged them to take immense pride in their achievements, recognizing that their commitment had brought them to this momentous day. Prof. Yamamoto emphasized AIT’s dedication to sustainable development and educational innovation, urging the graduates to embrace lifelong learning, nurture their curiosity, passion, and commitment, and actively contribute to positive change.
The ceremony took place in two sessions and was graced by dignitaries from different nations, as well as the graduates and their families. Mr. Aloke Lohia, Group CEO of Indorama Ventures PCL, delivered an inspiring graduation address focusing on the graduates’ transition into the real world. He acknowledged the structured nature of academic life and shared his personal business experience. Emphasizing continuous learning, preparation, clear visions, and finding purpose, he assured the graduates that their hard work would be acknowledged. In conclusion, he left them with the statement, “The harder you work, the luckier you become.”
Prof. Shabbir H. Gheewala, an AIT alumnus and Professor at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, shared his emotional connection and nostalgic memories of his time at AIT. He highlighted the significance of AIT’s international environment and the strong bonds that develop among students from diverse cultures. Recognizing their accomplishments, Prof. Gheewala urged the graduates to embrace critical thinking, confront challenges, and maintain integrity as they embark on their professional journeys. He concluded by encouraging them to give back to AIT and expressing gratitude to influential professors and colleagues.
During the afternoon session, H.E. Dr. Sarah Taylor, Ambassador of Canada to Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos PDR, called upon the graduates to embrace their role as agents of change. She referred to them as an army of hope, poised to confront and overcome challenges. Dr. Taylor encouraged the graduates to utilize their education to tackle global issues through innovative and interdisciplinary approaches, acknowledging the interplay between technology, society, and the environment. Concluding with a message of optimism, she emphasized the transformative potential of individuals and nations working collectively to shape a sustainable and inclusive future.
Dr. Siriluk Chumchean, Managing Director of Panya Consultants Co. Ltd. and a distinguished AIT alumna, delivered an inspiring speech that captivated the audience. She shared her personal journey, initially doubting her admission to AIT but eventually pursuing a master’s degree. Dr. Chumchean highlighted the thriving alumni network, emphasizing its role in bridging gaps and creating collaboration opportunities. Drawing from her own career transitions, she emphasized the importance of embracing change, proactivity, and maintaining a balanced life. Her words resonated with the graduates, reminding them that obstacles are stepping stones to success. As she congratulated each graduate, she imparted the wisdom that an AIT degree is a passport to a world full of possibilities, urging them to pursue their passions with unwavering determination.
On behalf of the graduating class, four students delivered their remarkable messages. Dr. Suhana Wadud Ahamed, a doctoral graduate from the School of Management, on behalf of the doctoral graduates, reflected on their journey of perseverance and uncertainty, emphasizing the paramount importance of unwavering belief in one’s dreams. Dr. Suhana proudly celebrated the triumph of her fellow doctoral graduates and expressed heartfelt gratitude for the unwavering support and cooperation provided by AIT. Encouraging both her daughters and the graduates, she emphasized the transformative power of unwavering self-belief and hope. Concluding her speech, she urged the graduates to set the world ablaze and reminded them that learning is a lifelong treasure.
Yogita Miriyala, representing the master’s graduates, highlighted the significance of acknowledging failures alongside successes. She urged her peers to find strength in adversity, emphasizing the transformative power of using setbacks as stepping stones for growth and improvement. With deep gratitude to their institution, Yogita encouraged her fellow graduates to carry forward the invaluable lessons learned at AIT and make a positive and lasting impact on the world.
Representing the doctoral graduates in the evening session, Dr. Sanjiv Neupane expressed profound gratitude for the unwavering support they received throughout their academic journey. He highlighted the enriching experiences of studying in a multicultural environment at AIT, emphasizing personal growth and resilience in the face of challenges. Sanjeev encouraged his fellow graduates to embrace the enduring legacy of AIT and become catalysts for positive transformation in their respective fields.
Salik Bhusal, representing the master’s graduating students from SET, emphasized the tremendous significance of their relentless hard work and dedication leading up to this significant milestone. Reflecting on the challenges they faced, Bhusal highlighted the late nights fueled by determination and the unwavering resilience that helped them overcome obstacles. He stressed the responsibility accompanying their education, urging his fellow graduates to utilize their skills and knowledge ethically and responsibly as they contribute to society.
The ceremony was also attended by the presence of distinguished guests, including H.E. Mr. Ganesh Prasad Dhakal, Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal; H.E. Mrs. Colonne Appuhamillage Chaminda Inoka Colonne, Ambassador of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; Ms. Maleka Parveen, ndc, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh; Ms. Dayamayee Chakraborty, Counsellor, Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh; Ms. Sin Sopheap, First Secretary, Royal Embassy of Cambodia; Mr. Achmad Wicaksono, Attaché of Education and Culture, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia; Dr. Xavier GROSMAITRE, Science and Higher Education Attaché, Cultural and Scientific Service, French Embassy; Ms. Kawisara Sukumolchan, First Secretary, International Organizations Administrative Affairs Division, International Organisations Department; Mr. Chaiwat Kovavisarach, CEO, President & Director Bangchak Corporation Public Company Ltd., Thailand; and Mr. Taweechai Termkunanon, President of AIT Alumni Association (AITAA).
Message from the graduates
Nuntarat Boonlao, Doctoral Graduate of Food Engineering and Bioprocess Technology
“AIT is a special place filled with cherished memories. It’s where I completed my Master’s and Doctoral degrees. AIT not only provided an enriching learning environment but also allowed me to make friends from different countries. Although my doctoral journey had its challenges, it was achievable with the support of amazing individuals. I am truly grateful to my advisor, committee members, staff, and dear friends who stood by me. The knowledge and experience I gained at AIT will greatly benefit my future career.”
Jeeten Kumar, Master of Engineering in Disaster Preparedness, Mitigation, and Management
“There are not many virtues of AIT that I can share which have not been extolled by other graduates, for there are many, both virtues and graduates, so I will single out one. I admire the attention afforded to students both professionally and personally. Delivering education to each student involves the hard work of many actors behind the scenes, from the admissions and registry office, the help desk, the program department secretary, and the lecturers themselves. The product of their collaboration is larger than the sum of its parts. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each AIT staff involved in making my education and the education of so many others possible. I hope it continues long into the future.”
Ashma Shrestha, Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
“Embarking on my MBA journey at AIT with the prestigious HM KING’S scholarship has been an enriching experience beyond measure. The vibrant tapestry of cultural diversity and the bonds of friendship formed with classmates from around the world have been invaluable. Together, we embraced change and innovation, challenging ourselves to think differently and create impactful solutions. AIT has not only equipped me with the necessary skills but also nurtured my appreciation for diverse perspectives. I am now ready to contribute to the global business landscape, driven by a deep sense of gratitude for the lifelong friendships and cross-cultural understanding fostered during my time at AIT.”