Emaar Chairman receives honorary doctorate from Seattle University

Published June 12th, 2007 - 11:38 GMT

Emaar Chairman receives honorary doctorate from Seattle University

• University singles out Alabbar’s notable achievements in business, economic development and public service
• Distinguished past recipients includes Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Corazon Aquino
• Embrace diversity, believe in yourself and be bold, Emaar Chairman tells graduate class of 2007

Emaar Chairman Mohamed Ali Alabbar received an honorary doctoral degree in humanities from his alma mater Seattle University at the university’s graduate school commencement ceremony held in the northwest American city on June 10, 2007. The Emaar chairman joins such world leaders as Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Philippines President Corazon Aquino in the university’s distinguished group of recipients.

The honorary degree, was awarded by the Seattle University Board of Trustees in recognition of Mr. Alabbar’s economic and cultural contributions. Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, SJ, said the university was proud to include Mr. Alabbar among its distinguished group of honorees.

“Honorary degree candidates, by their life and work, represent ideals and values that the university seeks to foster and model,” Fr. Sundborg said. “Mr. Alabbar’s notable professional achievements in business, economic development and public service, both in Dubai and throughout the Middle East region, speaks directly to the university’s mission. Seattle University is very proud to have him as an alumnus.”

After the degree presentation, Mr. Alabbar addressed the university’s graduate school as the main speaker for the 2007 graduates and their families. Mr. Alabbar, a 1981 graduate of the university’s Albers School of Business, spoke about the life lessons he learned at the university, shared his insights about the contemporary world of international business and advised students to engage directly with the Arab and Muslim world.

“Seattle University taught me what it means to be truly open-minded, to appreciate the beauty and value of human diversity,” Mr. Alabbar said. “People who fit in and thrive in today’s diversity-led world will be the success stories of today and tomorrow. Multiculturalism is the new global currency.”

Mr. Alabbar also exhorted the graduating students to believe in themselves and their ability to effect change, to take risks and to continue learning every day. 

“I’ve learned success – both personal and professional – is determined by three things: How we think, how we act, and what we believe in,” he said. “Quite possibly the most important lesson I’ve learned is that attitude determines altitude: How far you go, and how high you rise, depends on how you think and what you think about.”

More than 500 advanced degree students and 2,500 guests attended the Sunday afternoon graduation ceremony, held at the Qwest Field stadium in Seattle. Seattle University is among the top 10 schools in the Western United States offering a full range of master’s and undergraduate programs.

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