The Driehaus College of Business (BUS) and its partner, Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), presented diplomas to 70 students at a commencement ceremony held for DePaul’s graduate program in Manama, Bahrain.
The program’s eighth graduating class encompassed 43 students who received master’s degrees in finance, including 17 who completed concentrations in Islamic finance; 15 students who earned MBA degrees; and 12 who attained master’s in human resources management degrees.
Dan Heiser, associate dean of BUS, and Tom Donley, chair of economics, represented DePaul during the ceremony on July 10. Kristen Jackson, BUS’s international programs assistant, inducted the new graduates into the DePaul Alumni Association, working with Zahra Tabbara, DePaul’s primary BIBF graduate program liaison.
In his remarks, Heiser noted two milestones: the business school’s upcoming centennial year and the recent 10th anniversary of the founding of the DePaul-BIBF program, which, in 2001, introduced the first MBA program in the Persian Gulf taught by faculty from an accredited American business school.
“For more than a decade, DePaul University and the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance have worked together to bring high-caliber graduate business programs to Bahrain and the Gulf community,” Heiser said. “Within DePaul, this collaboration with BIBF continues to be seen as our most important and most successful international initiatives. Together, we take great pride in the quality of our graduates and their accomplishments.”
The sense of accomplishment extends to faculty as well, Heiser told the graduates. “When our Chicago-based professors return to Chicago after teaching in the program, they are clearly affected in a positive way. Their eyes have been opened a bit wider and they see the world in a new light. They leave (Bahrain) with a new appreciation and understanding for a part of the world most have not been exposed to before.”
The commencement speaker, Ahmed Al-Ebrahim, acting CEO of GCC Interconnection Authority, earned an MBA degree as a member of program’s first graduating class in 2003. “As DePaul graduates, you have boosted your career not only because of the knowledge you get through the master’s degree, but also because of the positive perception of the degree that DePaul presents,” he said. “I urge you to take full advantage of this competitive edge and seize the opportunity to fulfill your dreams and those of your society.”
Garry Muriwai, BIBF director, congratulated graduates for “their significant achievements from one of the most respected academic institutions in the U.S.” He encouraged the class “to keep learning, reading, listening, thinking and questioning” and seize the “unique opportunity to make a difference.”
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