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A student perspective of Convocation 2019: A Mosaic of Memories, by Khaled Alqahtani

Once the KGSP 2019 Convocation: Save the Date popped up on my phone screen, over 100 WhatsApp messages immediately followed. Some were debating which sessions to attend or planning activities with friends they hadn’t seen in a year, while others, like me, seemed almost unable to express their unparalleled enthusiasm for Convocation, the Program’s huge yearly reunion, and part of the beauty of the KGSP experience.

In her Commencement speech, Yasmeen AlFaraj, a senior at University of California, Berkeley, recalled years of memories and aspects that resembled pieces of a KGSP mosaic. The annual Convocation encompassed many of those pieces for Yasmeen, and I can understand why.  Beginning with fueling even more passion for my major, the KGSP community and management at Convocation assured me of the support I have.  Now, I have new memories for my own KGSP mosaic:  From the conversations and laughs I shared at the College Fair with students attending universities that I have applied to, to learning about epigenetics and marine biology during a Sci Café that highlighted the impressive upcoming collaborations between KAUST and Saudi medical institutions, to students gathering around a scientific poster and exhausting the presenting faculty member with questions, and to simple side conversations about the intersection of art and science.

I was immensely inspired and in awe of the worlds of possibilities that KGSP is creating for both my academic and co-curricular pursuits. Each scene is a piece that represents what the KGSP stands for: multidisciplinary learning, passion for scientific quest, and collaborative learning.  


KGSP students represent the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s future scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and thought-leaders. As both individuals and as a community, they reflect the KAUST mission of driving scientific discovery through excellence in education and cutting-edge research, and share a commitment to fostering innovation, economic development, and social prosperity throughout the Kingdom and the world.  


Selection to the KGSP is extremely competitive, and currently by invitation only. Successful applicants are Saudi Arabian students in their final year of high school who demonstrate impressive academic credentials within STEM fields, meaningful extra-curricular achievements, and who share the KAUST ethos of continuous discovery.  Learn more here.


The KGSP is administered by the Office of Strategic National Advancement at KAUST, under the direction of Vice President & Senior Associate to the President, Dr. Najah Ashry. Strategic National Advancement directs the university's strategy to serve Saudi Arabia's transformational priorities: Through initiatives in young talent and Saudi workforce development, social responsibility, and national engagement, the Office contributes to a thriving innovation ecosystem by building knowledge capacity, creating opportunities, and strengthening impact.