NYU Alumni Magazine Spring 2010

NYU Abu Dhabi officially opened the doors to its downtown campus last December with a dedication ceremony that featured His Highness Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi. Some quotes from the event’s speakers are presented below.

“Early in our class, I noticed that John [Sexton] would usually pick on many of my contributions. He would make me [feel] as if ‘you should have thought more before you said that….’ I thought maybe he didn’t like me, but then I started seeing the way he treated other students and I understood that he was actually trying to squeeze us, trying to make us learn something while we were talking…. This style of teaching and this course opened our minds and taught us critical thinking, to have a broader vision, to place ourselves in others’ shoes. [It taught us] discipline, respect, the value of having initiative, and—I don’t mean anything by saying this—but he also taught us to have a healthy disrespect for authority.”

—Mohamed Al Mahmoud, alumnus of the inaugural class of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars, and first chair of the scholars’ alumni association

“Mohamed, you know that I love you, but I will never accept less than the best that you can do. I will put high demands on you. I almost feel like hugging you. Although I hug students in New York, in Abu Dhabi we only do this—[the two bump fists]—because I said when I came here that if I cannot shake the hands of some of my [female] students, then I will do nothing with them and nothing with you that is different.”

—NYU President John Sexton, in response to Mohamed Al Mahmoud

“As NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU New York, and NYU’s worldwide academic sites develop into a transnational networked university…we look forward to introducing a new paradigm for higher education.”

—Alfred Bloom, vice chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi