Offering the first in-person opportunity to reconnect and network with other graduates since the start of the pandemic, QF partner Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) hosted their annual “Welcome to the Neighborhood” event. Held outside GU-Q’s main entrance on the landscaped grounds of Education City’s Oxygen Park, the event brought together both old and new graduates in support of the university’s commitment to forge a close-knit alumni community in Qatar.
The evening event opened with an address from GU-Q Dean, Dr. Clyde Wilcox. “Through the dedication and hard work of our faculty, students, and staff, the university has overcome so many challenges during these extraordinary times,” he said, adding: “So it is wonderful to reconnect in person with our growing alumni community through this event, and to continue our goal of encouraging alumni engagement that creates bonds of friendship and opportunities for professional networking.”
The return to campus inspired a sense of excitement that was broadly shared among attending alumni, who enjoyed a light reception and refreshments at the meet-and-greet. International History graduate and multiple academic honors recipient Murchhana Dash, now a full time research assistant at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, said “I really appreciated the effort that went into organizing an in-person alumni event that brought us all back together at GU-Q. This was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with classmates we haven’t seen since before the pandemic, and a chance to meet returning alumni from previous graduating classes.” In her current role, Dash is working on a project studying the role of the public sector in empowering women in Qatar and the region.
Now a research intern at the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies, Abeedah Diab said she welcomed the chance to share an evening with her former classmates, and to expand her professional networks. “Although this is the first time I’ve been able to visit GU-Q since the pandemic, I’ve had the opportunity to meet several Georgetown graduates through my professional work. This alumni event has been another great reminder that we continue to stay connected beyond our shared undergraduate experience, no matter where our journey takes us.” Diab graduated with honors with a degree in International History. She also pursued a Certificate in Arab and Regional Studies.
Despite the limitations of the pandemic, this wasn’t the first event for alumni. The university explored new ways to engage alumni and to offer opportunities to connect with current and former students in the recent period through collaborative initiatives, virtual webinars, mentorship programs, and other online activities.
Since the first class of 2009, more than 600 GU-Q graduates have joined a growing global community of over 160,000 Georgetown alumni and have pursued successful careers in a range of industries, including the oil and gas sectors, communication, international affairs, education and research, and more. The Georgetown University Alumni Association of Doha (GUAAD) also organizes several social events and networking opportunities for alumni throughout the year.