Marium Saeed, NU-Q’s Student Union president, addresses the convocation. (Photo courtesy qatar-news.northwestern.edu)
Northwestern University in Qatar welcomed its largest class to date during a colorful ceremony last month at the Opera House at Katara Cultural Village. With the administration and staff in full academic regalia, 65 new freshmen students were inducted into the school. This also includes the largest number of Qataris as the school begins its seventh year.
The ceremony was the culmination of NU-Q’s Wildcat Welcome Week — an orientation program for incoming students to learn about academic and community expectations, forge friendships, and meet the mentors who will serve as critical resources through the next four years.
In the presence of their families, friends, alumni, and members of NU-Q staff, the Class of 2018 was welcomed by NU-Q Dean and CEO Everette E. Dennis, who praised Qatar’s Vision 2030 for recognizing the “importance of communication, journalism, and media studies,” which is the University’s mandate. He noted that the evening’s celebration of “learning and the advancement of knowledge comes at a troubled time in this region and in other points of conflict on the globe,” but argued that such recent and longstanding problems “benefit from the virtues of education, as well as free and open discourse with respect and tolerance for others.”
With an emphasis on better understanding Qatar, the convocation address was given by author and Professor Mehran Kamrava, director of the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University in Qatar whose book Qatar: Small State, Big Politics has received critical acclaim.
Kamrava gave advice to the students on taking inspiration from Qatar, with its unique history and bold vision, “to dream big, think outside of the box, and question assumptions.” He advised the Class of 2018 to “stand their ground and pursue their future vision with singular determination.” Students shouldn’t be “afraid of failure as this journey is about learning, exchanging ideas, and having a dialogue with students and members of a distinct global intellectual elite.”
The convocation was also addressed by Marium Saeed, NU-Q’s Student Union president, who said: “For this year’s student class, the most important thing to understand is their experience at NU-Q will be unique, with opportunities to broaden their horizons and meet new people, but that doesn’t come easy and it will take hard work. Ready access to education is something to be treasured, and I have every confidence the Class of 2018 will excel on this exciting path, embracing the challenges ahead in order to go on and do remarkable things.”
NU-Q is committed to excellent teaching, innovative research and the personal intellectual growth of its students in a diverse academic community. Students in NU-Q’s Class of 2018 hail from 20 different countries and five continents across the globe, with the majority speaking at least two languages. The class is split evenly between NU-Q’s communication and journalism majors. Students will receive instruction from a renowned faculty, part of a University boasting more than 200,000 living alumni, including countless public figures, statespersons, and societal leaders.
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