Graduation from university or college can be one of the proudest days in a person's life, but in 2020 that opportunity has been taken away for many students, as graduation ceremonies around the world are cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the Canadian University Dubai has found a creative and memorable way to celebrate its graduating class, by displaying their images on the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
The virtual event took place in the presence of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, UAE Minister of Tolerance.
On Friday, June 5, at 8.30pm, the students were able to live stream a virtual graduation ceremony, displayed on the Burj Khalifa's exterior in LED screens.
The university made history in the process, as the first in the world to display images of its graduating class on the world’s tallest building.
Arguably, a benefit of the virtual ceremony is that friends and family around the world would have been able to tune in, should they have wanted to, without being limited to the usual two-ticket-allocation that many families must settle for at such ceremonies.
In a statement released by the university, chancellor Buti Saeed Al Ghandi said, “Just a little over two months ago, we took the necessary steps to move to a virtual campus, and now we have hosted our first ever virtual graduation. These seamless digital changes prove the sheer determination, hard work and compassion to succeed from our students and faculty in this time of uncertainty.”
The move seems to have been welcomed by the 2020 graduating class, following what student Laith Wazani described as a "year to remember".
"We wanted to join our students and celebrate together their graduation from afar," Wazani said. "Together we have faced many challenges and had to learn new ways to adapt and change to deliver a healthy learning environment during a global pandemic but it is safe to say we have gone above and beyond and it is a pleasure to see the class of 2020 graduate in the most memorable way possible."