Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) honored fifty five seniors who participated in the “Tropaia & Recognition of Graduates” virtual event at 7:00 pm on May 14, 2020. The ceremony also recognized student standouts from the Class of 2020, who were honored for academic excellence, extracurricular achievements, and induction into prestigious honor societies. The online awards ceremony at the QF partner institution marked the successful end of four years of study, and honored the faculty and staff members who have made a lasting impact on the students.
Graduating senior student Ghanim Mohamed Alyafei officially opened the ceremony with a recitation from the Quran, a long-held tradition of GU-Q’s Tropaia Awards, named after the ancient Greek word for monuments raised in honor of victory. And Sarah Muteb Al-Mutoteh, the Senior Class Speaker, addressed her peers by reminding them of the importance of higher education, especially in times of crisis. “The first lesson Georgetown taught us was to expect the unexpected. Georgetown has prepared us for life.”
Dr. Ahmad Dallal, dean of GU-Q, also reflected on the theme of heroism in his welcome address to the students, proud family members, faculty and staff watching from home, saying: “This ceremony honors the courageous academic struggles and honorable success of our graduating students. This year…turned out to be a noble struggle, a battle we waged together in our hearts, and minds, using-in addition to our computers, our internet access and learning software-the most heroic of weapons: our empathy, and our common humanity.”
Dr. Jeremy Koons, Associate Professor of Philosophy, announced the Latin Honors for the graduating class, recognizing Sarah Muteb Al-Mutoteh, Salma Khaled Hassan and Murchhana Dash for graduating cum laude, or “with honor,” Dana Ali Al-Rumaihi, Ghanim Mohamed Alyafei, and Wesley Chen for graduating magna cum laude, or “with great honor,” and Noor Rajab Al-Esmail and Nadine El-Dehaibi for graduating summa cum laude, with “highest honor.”
One of the top honors of the ceremony, the Dean’s Medal, which is given to the graduating senior who earns the highest scholastic average at GU-Q, went to multi-award winner Noor Rajab Al-Esmail. “This year’s recipient is truly outstanding. She personifies intelligence, perseverance, dedication, a hard work ethic, and above all, humility and kindness,” said Dean Dallal.
Dr. Victoria Googasian, Assistant Professor of English, announced the recipients of certificates in a secondary academic concentration and recognized the students who have been admitted into the academic honor societies Omicron Delta Epsilon, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Phi Alpha Theta. Dr. Koons announced the inductees into the Jesuit Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Nu, for excellence in scholarship and service to others, and Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most prestigious honor society in America. “Fewer than 1% of graduates from American universities are invited to membership each year,” he said.
Dr. Reza Pirbhai, Associate Professor of History and Faculty Chairperson, announced the winners of the staff and faculty awards that recognize outstanding students in each of the certificates and majors. Sara Abdelghany won the Katrina Quirolgico Award for Excellence in Culture & Politics, Nadine El-Dehaibi won the International Economics Outstanding Student Award, Murchhana Dash won the International History Outstanding Student Award, and Reem Al-Khori won the International Politics Outstanding Student Award. Certificate Awards were also announced.
Dr. Omar Khalifah, Associate Professor of Arabic, announced students who distinguished themselves with a written thesis paper in each major: a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) degree offered in Culture and Politics, International Economics, International History, and International Politics. The final awards of the evening included Student Development Senior Awards, presented by Naila Sherman, Director of Student Life, and the Senior Class Staff Appreciation Award, which went to Academic Affairs Specialist Rana Saad, and the Faculty of the Year Award, which went to Dr. Rory Miller, Professor of Government.
The ceremony concluded with student videos of favorite undergraduate experiences and memories, and the induction of the Class of 2020 into the global community of Georgetown alumni. “Today you receive a virtual pin as a symbol of your lifelong connection with the more than 190,000 Georgetown University alumni around the world. Please remember that Georgetown is always your home,” said Dr. Brendan Hill, Senior Associate Dean for Students.
The virtual event is available for viewing on the university’s website.