On Thursday, May 7, 2015, 19 men and 38 women received their diplomas from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar (GU-Q) at an official commencement ceremony held on the university’s Education City campus.
The graduating class represented many different nationalities, a group of students which included twenty two Qataris who each received a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) degree, a unique, interdisciplinary program that prepares students to tackle global issues of importance 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, or International History.
Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums (QM), was an honored guest at the formal proceedings. Other guests included friends and families, as well as several Qatari dignitaries and Georgetown visitors from the Doha and main campus in Washington D.C.
John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University in Washington D.C., conferred the degrees to the graduating class. In remarks on the occasion, he said: “On this special occasion to celebrate our graduating seniors, we are also so pleased to celebrate the ten year anniversary of our campus in Qatar. GU-Q represents the very best of our commitment to excellence and the conviction that, in working together, we can build a better world. As our seniors embark on the next step in their life’s journey, I wish to express my warm congratulations and deep gratitude for their many contributions to our community over the past four years.”
Dr. Gerd Nonneman, the dean of GU-Q, opened the formal ceremonies. “This graduating class has the prestigious honor of marking Georgetown’s first decade of excellence in Qatar, a class of young, hardworking, global citizens with the critical skillset needed to fulfill the ambitions of their communities. We are so proud of all of their accomplishments, and we look forward to the many more they will no doubt achieve as Georgetown alumni,” he commented.
Dean Nonneman also noted the incomparable leadership of His Highness the Emir, His Highness the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, the Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, for their vision and dedication to human development through higher education.
The Dean’s opening remarks were followed by an address to the graduating seniors from the keynote speaker, Her Royal Highness, Princess Ghida Talal, Chairperson of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation. Princess Ghida earned a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in International Politics and Economics from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. In her speech, she shared her story of professional development interrupted by a family cancer scare, which ultimately led to her dedication to the Cancer Foundation. “Georgetown gave me the education, the direction and the strength of character to face my challenges head on and not only overcome them, but ultimately transform them into some of my greatest achievements,” she said.
Including the class of 2015, GU-Q has graduated 272 students representing more than 50 countries. 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., the university now has 52 faculty and a student body approaching 270. GU-Q is also home to Qatar’s only disabled accessible Library, which is open to the public.