Above: During her Nov. 3, 2008 visit to NYIT-Abu Dhabi, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings cited NYIT as a "trailblazer" in global higher education.
Students, faculty, and staff at NYIT-Abu Dhabi had the chance to interact with one of the leading voices in 21st-century global education when Margaret Spellings, the secretary of education under the George W. Bush Administration, visited the university’s United Arab Emirates campus on Nov. 3, 2008.
Speaking to a group of 170 that also included guests from the business, educational, and government sectors, Spellings described how NYIT students “are blessed with enormous opportunities: a world of information at your fingertips; an economy that moves as fast as you can think; a society that increasingly rewards effort and merit, and shuns discrimination and corruption … and an education that gives you the tools to improve your circumstances and the lives of those around you—a wonderful gift, a treasure.” She encouraged the students to use their education to tackle today’s environmental, medical, and economic challenges by “improving what exists and creating what has never existed before.”
Edward Guiliano, Ph.D., president of NYIT, and U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings tour the NYIT-Abu Dhabi campus.
Secretary Spellings chats with NYIT students in the interior design computer lab.
NYIT has offered degree programs in Abu Dhabi since 2005 and, in 2007, became the first American university in the U.A.E. licensed by the Ministry of Education and Scientific Research.
Secretary Spellings is the first speaker in NYIT’s ongoing Presidential Lecture Series to present at a venue outside of the United States. She joins a roster of distinguished leaders from the business, government, and academic communities, including Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Jonathan Miller, former chief executive officer of AOL.
During her visit, Secretary Spellings was the guest of honor at a dinner hosted by Edward Guiliano, Ph.D., president of NYIT, and His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the United Arab Emirates.
“The Secretary’s plan of action for higher education targets improving educational accessibility, affordability, and accountability throughout the world,” said President Guiliano. “As part of this, she sees global collaboration and the utilization of technology as key to empowering students everywhere.”
“By working together, we can set both a course for the future and an example for today,” Secretary Spellings told attendees. “We have nothing to lose, and a world to gain.”