University of New York Tirana Graduation Ceremony

Congratulations Class of 2018!


The University of New York Tirana (UNYT) held its graduation ceremony on July 5, 2018 at the MAK Albania Hotel in Tirana, Albania. The ceremony, which honored more than 130 graduates from the University’s undergraduate and graduate degrees, also marked the University’s 16th year, since its establishment in 2002.  Since then, the University of New York Tirana has become a leading provider of higher education in the country, being the only University in Albania to offer a DUAL Diploma in partnership with an American University. The graduation ceremony was an opportunity to celebrate and honor UNYT’s cohort of students, many of whom have shown tremendous commitment to their studies.


More than 400 guests attended the graduation ceremony to celebrate and congratulate the hard work and success of their loved ones. The event was, also, streamed live online so that friends and family, who were unable to attend the ceremony, could watch the graduates receive their degrees.

In his welcoming address, UNYT Rector, Professor Fatos Tarifa, congratulated the students in the occasion of achieving an important milestone and encouraged them to continue their journey of academic and research achievements, which they have started at the University of New York Tirana.

The University of New York Tirana was particularly honored to have as Keynote Speaker of this year’s graduation ceremony The Honorable Mr. Erion Veliaj, Mayor of Tirana. Mayor Veliaj shared three influential success stories with the class of 2018 and urged the graduates to never let go of their dreams, to strive for success, and to aspire leadership.

Representing UNYT’s most revered partner, the State University of New York, Empire State College (SUNY-ESC), were Dr. David Bejou, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Sheila Aird, European Programs Director, and Mrs. Francesca Cichello, Executive Director, International Education. Provost Dr. Bejou addressed the graduates by emphasizing “each one of you is a member of a global community of over 3,400 graduates in this class of 2018. We hope you are proud of your college, because we are certainly proud of you! On behalf of SUNY Empire State College, it has been a privilege learning with you and helping you along your educational journey.”

Professor Arben Malaj, esteemed academic and politician as well as NYC President Counselor, also spoke a few words of wisdom to the graduating class of 2018. Professor Malaj urged the graduates: “This world needs you! The world has progressed and now it needs people who think creatively, innovatively, critically, independently, and with the ability to connect. UNYT students ALWAYS are going to be the best in their ambitions, and responsibilities for a better future, for their families and their homeland.”

The Ceremony closed with Dr. Elias Foutsis, President of the New York College Educational Group who in addressing the graduates said, “…I wish that all of you build successful careers, based on the valuable knowledge you have received in UNYT. I also wish you to have a happy personal life, full of great achievements!”