The American University of Malta was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on March 8, 2019, in the presence of AUM Founder Hani Salah. In addition to the keynote speech by the Prime Minister, remarks were delivered by AUM President Dr. Lewis Walker, Chairman of the AUM Board of Trustees, Prince Jean de Nassau of Luxembourg, and President of the Student Government Association, Anwar Al-Sadi. The audience comprised AUM students, faculty, staff, the administration, and invitees from across Malta and beyond.
PM Muscat, who described AUM as “an ambitious venture” that is helping to turn Malta into an “ideal education hub” for students from all over the world, added that the university has contributed to the economic revitalization of Bormla/Cospicua, the larger Three Cities/Cottonera area, and southern Malta as a whole. Following the speeches and the screening of a short film about AUM, guests were given a guided tour of AUM’s extensively restored former British naval station and provided with lunch and refreshments.
AUM President Dr. Walker, who opened his remarks by pointing out that it was International Women’s Day and citing Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai as a powerful symbol for all those who believe in women’s education, announced that nearly 100 students are now enrolled at AUM. Their numbers, said Dr. Walker, are expected to be augmented by a host of new arrivals by next fall.
In her remarks, President of the Student Government Association Anwar Al-Sadi recalled that she was drawn to AUM by its American curriculum and a student-teacher ratio that allows for personalized attention, among other factors. Ms. Al-Sadi, a sophomore, added that in the year and a half since she joined AUM, she has noted with appreciation her instructors’ commitment to encouraging students to “think critically and ethically” when examining the issues of our day.
For his part, Chairman of the AUM Board of Trustees Prince Jean de Nassau spoke of Malta’s history as a cultural crossroads, and of how AUM, with its emphasis on enabling students to sift through information in order to attain knowledge “without forgetting the ethical dimension,” fits into this tradition. He also expressed the Board’s desire to see AUM students, who hail from countries across the globe, work together toward “understanding and accepting their differences, respecting them, [and] building on these differences to become sound and charismatic leaders” in the fields of their choice.
In conducting a tour of the building, President Walker explained how the new gaming and animation laboratory represents the state-of-the-art equipment that the University is providing for technically cutting-edge participatory learning. He showed the guests modern classrooms, the library, and the extent to which the University has sought to preserve aspects of the building’s past.
The tour echoed the remarks of the Prime Minister at the inauguration, “The American University of Malta is an investment which creates benefits to be reaped not only by ourselves as a people, but even more by upcoming international and global generations.”