I am really happy to see all of you here today. We finally get to celebrate and see each other in person after what happened the past two years. Although the circumstances changed very quickly, we managed to adapt and to overcome all obstacles and pull through to the end. This was not an easy feat, and would not have been possible without the consistent support of the university and our strong will and determination. It makes me proud to say that we managed to do it.
Five years ago, I was in a very different place. At the beginning of my studies at Koç University, I was excited but anxious about being in a new environment in a completely different country. Thankfully, I met so many fellow students who were more than willing to help out. They became my friends and mentors and were always there for me. They reinforced my love for computer engineering and kept me motivated to keep pushing forward. We learned a lot together and participated in and won many programming competitions. We became like a family. When you graduate from a place like Koç University, you do not only leave with the knowledge you gained from courses. You also leave with many experiences and friendships that last a lifetime, and for that, I am thankful.
Today, I would also like to express my, and our, sincere gratitude. First and foremost, I would like to express my utmost gratitude to my parents and all our parents and family who worked so hard tirelessly to support us and make sure we get the best education possible no matter the cost. Next, I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to all the institutions and foundations that made all this possible. As a Syrian-Palestinian student, I would also like to, on behalf of many Arab students at Koç University, express our gratitude to the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, which has provided us with endless and continuous support throughout our undergraduate education. Without all their support, most of us would have never been able to reach the places we are today, and for that we owe them eternal gratitude. I would also like to thank all the professors who put in so much effort to educate us and keep us motivated. Whenever we went to ask a question or to ask for an opportunity, they have always welcomed us with open arms and did all they could to help. Last but not least, I would like to thank all the friends I have made throughout these years, who stood with me through thick and thin.
Today marks the end of a chapter in our lives. However, this is only the beginning, and I am excited at what the future holds. Finally, I would like to again say:
Congratulations to the class of 2022 on graduating, and I wish you all the best.
Shadi Hamdan, Computer Engineering
Valedictorian – Class of 2022