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On Dec. 14 at the midyear commencement ceremony, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will present two honorary doctorates to innovative partners from the University of Nizwa, who have made significant contributions to the University and beyond.

Receiving an honorary doctorate is one way an academic institution honors a distinguished visitor’s contributions to a specific industry or society as a whole. This year’s recipients will be recognized with a Doctorate of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

UW Oshkosh has a long history of active partnership with the University of Nizwa in the Sultanate of Oman. In the 1990’s late Chancellor John E. Kerrigan helped arrange a Fulbright Fellowship for Dr. (Abe) Ibrahim Mahmoud from the biology department at UW Oshkosh to accept an appointment in Muscat, Oman.  This resulted in the establishment of a professional working relationship between educational leaders in Oman and UW Oshkosh. During the 2000s, Chancellor Emeritus Kerrigan worked closely with two distinguished academic leaders–the individuals honored through the receipt of this year’s honorary doctorates–in the development, formation and support of the University of Nizwa.

This year’s recipients are:

Dr. Ahmed Khalfan Mohammad Salim Al-Rawahi 

Ahmed - HonoraryDocAhmed Al-Rawahi chaired the academic foundations committee that established the plan for the University of Nizwa and has served as the founding chancellor of the institution since it was established in 2004. There, he provides strong and visionary leadership and high-quality educational services to the people of Oman resulting in more than 6,500 students enrolled and the construction of a new campus.

This leadership has been crucial for both internal administrative operations and in developing broader external relationships with the people and the institutions of Oman and beyond.Al-Rawahi has actively nourished and helped direct the organizational relationship between the University of Nizwa and UW Oshkosh.

Additionally, visits by students, faculty and staff from the University of Nizwa to UW Oshkosh have helped empower and energize the programmatic relationships between the participating institutional partners. The success of these partnership efforts has established a solid foundation for future success. Plans are under development for UW Oshkosh students to have opportunities to study in Oman.

Dr. Abdulaziz Yahya Ahmed Sulieman AlKindi

Al Kindi HonoraryDocAs vice chancellor for academic affairs and secretary-general of the board of trustees for the University of Nizwa, Abdulaziz AlKindi provided crucial leadership during the early stages of creating the vision for the university and in developing the academic, administrative and organizational structure that governs present activities and operations.

While serving as the Dean of Science at Sultan Qaboos University, AlKindi was the convener, organizer and coordinator of the Academic Foundation Committee for the University of Nizwa. His entrepreneurial drive and spirit permeates just about every area of academic and facility planning processes. He also served as the Chief Executive Officer of the University of Nizwa Investment Fund from 2007 through 2012.

AlKindi has worked to create a solid university with a demonstrated track record of delivering graduates; he has worked to create a solid international institution that is leading the way. The University of Nizwa was been described as having been, “self-built and self-made.” The developmental history of the campus reflects the unifying power of a compelling vision.

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