Georgetown University celebrates 8th Commencement Ceremony in Qatar

Press release
Published May 9th, 2016 - 06:15 GMT
GUQ Commencement 2016
GUQ Commencement 2016

On 5 May 2016, 68 students gathered as undergraduates for the last time as they attended Georgetown University in Qatar’s (GU-Q) 8th commencement ceremony, which was held on the university’s Education City campus.

This year’s GU-Q graduating class featured 24 men and 44 women, all of whom received a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) degree, a unique, interdisciplinary program that prepares students to tackle the most important and pressing global issues by providing them training in critical thinking, analytic and communication skills within an international context. The degree is available in International Politics, International Economics, Culture and Politics, and International History.

Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, Doha Film Institute, and Reach Out to Asia, and Co-Chair of the Joint Advisory Board at the Georgetown University in Qatar, was the featured guest at the ceremony, where she delivered the traditional Address to the Graduates.

Sheikha Al Mayassa quoted His Highness The Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani who said that Georgetown had been part of Qatar for the past ten years, and had played an important role in the development of both Qatar and the region. "Already, your fellow Hoyas have made a mark in Qatar and worldwide. Tonight you join Georgetown's extensive orbit of graduates, and will become part of the Georgetown family,” she said, listing the many world leaders and change makers who are Georgetown alumni, as well as listing the vast array of careers alumni pursue. 

“This list includes three of my own siblings who attended GU-Q as well," she said, noting that her brother, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani was the chairman of Qatar's bid's winning bid to host the 2022 World Cup. "Qatar will continue to make progress using Vision2030 to propel us into the future. If a Hoya could bring the FIFA World Cup to Qatar, I have no doubt you can achieve great things. No matter where you go, you will always be a part of Qatar Foundation and Qatar's narrative." 

"There are several reasons why it is particularly fitting that Sheikha Al Mayassa is today's commencement speaker," said the dean of GU-Q, Dr. Nonneman in his introduction of the honored guest, highlighting Sheikha Al Mayassa's career dedicated to education and turning Qatar into a global art hub. "Her role on our advisory board at GU-Q has been one she has taken extremely seriously, and not just as a formality. Sheikha Al Mayassa has been a genuine friend of Georgetown University, taking a deep interest in what we do and how we can make a deep impact in society in Qatar." 

Dr. Nonneman will be stepping down as dean at the end of this year, and returning in the Fall as a full-time professor. 

Other guests included Qatari dignitaries and government officials, members of the diplomatic and international community, proud friends and families of the graduating students, and key leadership from Georgetown’s main campus in Washington D.C who took part in the graduation ceremony. 

The presentation of the candidates for the degrees was performed by the Dean of the School of Foreign Service on Main Campus, Dr. Joel Hellman. 

Georgetown’s President, Dr. John J. DeGioia, conferred the degrees to the graduates, and gave the closing reflections that concluded the day’s events, saying: "During your time on campus, you've come to know the practice of pilgrimage, the commitment to a journey. We celebrate today a significant moment in your lives, the beginning of great things to come. Congratulations on taking the next step in your journey." 

In addition to the main ceremony, the Tropaia Awards ceremony was also held prior to commencement. 

To date, 337 students representing more than 50 countries have graduated from GU-Q since the first class received their diplomas in 2009. Beginning with 25 students and 7 faculty in 2005, and delivering the same internationally ranked curriculum as the School of Foreign Service (SFS) in Washington, D.C., GU-Q has currently 53 faculty and a student body approaching 247. GU-Q is also home to Qatar’s only open-to-the-public Library that is fully accessible to people with physical disabilities.

Background Information

Georgetown University in Qatar

Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) is an additional location of Georgetown University, based in Education City in Doha. The University offers a four year undergraduate program in international affairs leading to the Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) degree. Students have the opportunity to select one of four majors, a minor, and one of three certificates.

Contact Information

Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar
Education City,
P.O. Box 23689
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