Sixty four seniors gathered to receive their diplomas at the Education City campus of Georgetown University in Qatar on May 9, 2019, at the university’s 11th commencement exercises. The graduating seniors join a growing community of GU-Q alumni pursuing graduate degrees or working in a diverse range of industries in Qatar and beyond, including government, business, tech, law, and education.
This year’s graduating class of 24 Qatari and 25 non-Qatari women and 7 Qatari and 8 non-Qatari men, received a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) degree, a globally recognized interdisciplinary program offered in four majors, and taught in a supportive learning environment that enables students to develop intellectually and personally.
Her Excellency Ambassador Sheikha Alya bint Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani, the Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, was the special guest at the ceremony. “Today’s GU-Q graduates carry on a legacy of academic excellence, strength through diversity, and an unwavering commitment to work for the common good. Through dedicated scholarship in the field of humanities and social sciences, their academic work has contributed to the development mission of Qatar Foundation, and the ambitions and optimism of tomorrow’s leaders inspire us all to envision a better future.”
Guests in attendance included friends and family members, Qatari officials, and members of the diplomatic and international community. Representing Georgetown’s main campus in Washington, DC, at the ceremony were Special Assistant to the Provost and Registrar Emeritus, John Q. Pierce, who served as Chief Marshall, and Dean of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Dr. Joel Hellman, who presented the candidates for degrees. Degree conferral and closing reflections were made by the President of Georgetown University, Dr. John J. DeGioia.
The Dean of GU-Q, Dr. Ahmad Dallal, gave the opening remarks and introduced the guest speaker. “It is with great pride and pleasure that I extend my congratulations to the Class of 2019 for the dedication, drive, and commitment they have shown in achieving the distinction of becoming a Georgetown University degree recipient,” he said. “With the guidance and support of our dedicated academic community, they have acquired the critical skills required by our ever changing world, and their stories and diligence will continue to inspire the next generation of students following in their footsteps.”
This year saw the university celebrating several milestones, including the largest application pool to date for the Class of 2022, the 100 year anniversary of the founding of SFS, and the GUQ100 Celebration of Knowledge, marking over 100 published volumes produced by affiliated faculty and staff since the campus opened its doors in 2005.
In addition to the main ceremony, the Tropaia Award Exercises were held a day prior to commencement to honor major achievements of senior students. With a starting student body of 25 students in 2005, GU-Q has now produced more than 500 alumni representing more than 50 countries, and delivers the same internationally ranked curriculum as Georgetown’s main campus in Washington, D.C.