Celebrating Our 8th Graduation | Aga Khan Academies

Celebrating Our 8th Graduation

04 June 2014

Simon Otieno, Head of Academy, welcomes guestsOn May 24, 2014, the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa celebrated its 8th graduating Diploma Programme class.  After our traditional ‘pinning ceremony’, where graduates received an Academy pin to honour their time and contributions, the Class of 2014 ceremoniously walked down the aisle to formally begin the ceremony.

58 beaming graduates, adorned in their finest dress, sat proudly listening to words of advice, reflecting on past experiences and imagining the future.  This graduation ceremony was especially important because it marked the first graduating class of our sister school, the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad.  The Director of the Academies, Salim Bhatia, gave a welcoming speech to both graduation ceremonies simultaneously through an Internet video link.  He encouraged the graduates to think about their role as alumni, engaging in a complex and dynamic world.

The Head of Academy, Simon Otieno, then welcomed parents, teachers and students with a warm address reflecting on his multiple roles as teacher, Head of Academy and parent to one of the graduates.  Mr. Otieno helped to remind us of the joys, challenges and pleasures of parenthood. Our first of two chief guests then took the stage. 

The Mombasa County Education Executive Secretary Honourable Tendai Lewa shared his very personal story and experiences with the graduates, encouraging them to always push their limits while always maintaining a generous spirit. 

Our second chief guest, Monique Conn, then addressed the graduates and guests.  Ms. Conn is the former Academic Director of the International Baccalaureate Organization, and former Academic Director of the Aga Khan Academies.  Her thoughtful and reflective words helped the graduates build clear bridges between the values and vision of both the IB and Aga Khan Academies, while helping the graduates understand the magnitude of the responsibility on their shoulders.

Each year, the graduating class nominates a speaker to give some parting words of wisdom on behalf of the students.  This year, Omar Mohamed provided an articulate and charismatic account of both the memorable and not-so-memorable moments over the past two years with confidence and generosity.

Each year, the Academy gives the Award of Excellence to the top male and female graduate for their outstanding contributions to academics and student life, and who best exhibit the Aga Khan Academy Learner Profile upon graduation in DP2.  The female recipient of the award, Flora Waiganjo, is a brilliant, dedicated and independent student.  As a Dorm Captain and Captain of the Basketball Team, she is a role model to whom others look up to for support and guidance.  Flora is a recipient of the coveted International Leader of Tomorrow Scholarship from the University of British Columbia.  The male recipient of the award, Amsal Lakhani, is outstanding in every way.  A committed scholar, his quest for knowledge is driven by a deep desire for social justice.  As a former executive member of the Student Representative Council and Senior Chair at the East African Model United Nations Conference, Amsal continuously takes on new challenges while encouraging others to do the same.  Amsal received a series of offers from top universities and will be attending Columbia University on scholarship next academic year.

Of course, our graduation ceremony could not be complete without performances by our aspiring orchestra, award-winning student choir and charming faculty choir.

This talented group of 58 graduates has been the most successful cohort in accessing institutions of higher education.  These graduates have won over US$3,400,000 in scholarships and financial aid to study courses ranging from politics and philosophy, to financial modeling and actuarial sciences.  Our students received offers from prestigious institutions including Columbia University, Dartmouth College, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, New York University, Northwestern University, Williams College, University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McGill University, University College London, King’s College London and University of Edinburgh.

Congratulations to all of our graduates and their families!