First batch graduates from Georgetown University

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Twenty-one students, among them H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, graduated from the Georgetown University of Foreign Service in Qatar yesterday.

The Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and H H Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned attended the event at the Museum of Islamic Art as parents. Also present at the event was Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. This is the first batch of graduates from the university since it was set up in Qatar

in 2005. “Just as you brought your energy, idealism, passion, service, and scholarship to our School of Foreign Service, it is now your time — it’s now your moment … to help build bridges of understanding,” said Georgetown University president John J DeGioia after urging the graduates to make “positive changes.” The ceremony was attended by more than 500 family members and friends of the graduates.
The Emir with the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and Georgetown University officials. The graduates arriving for the ceremony holding the flags of their respective countries.

“We recognise that being global entails an engagement in the world that is multilateral, multinational, and multicultural … an engagement that requires partnerships that transcend national identities, national boundaries … an engagement like what we see here in Doha,” said DeGioia.

According to Liz Kepferle, the university’s Director of Admissions, the graduates, when they first enrolled at the school, arrived at a university with seven faculty members, seven courses offered in the first semester, one classroom and a library that was essentially a couple of shelves of reference books, access to online databases and a trickle of periodicals. “However, they addressed the challenges well. In their first year, they created from scratch the student government, several clubs, a soccer team, and a school newspaper.”

“I am very glad to have gone through these four years at the Georgetown University… Leaving Georgetown is overwhelming and scary… but wherever life takes me, I am prepared for it,” said Fajana Tripti, one of

the graduates.

James Reardon-Anderson, the founding dean of the university who helped to recruit the very first class, told the students: “Your Georgetown experience is not to be left behind as a brief passage, a training programme meant to prepare you for life, but as an inspiration and a constant reminder that learning is among the greatest expressions of the human spirit and a reason for living itself.”

The Georgetown University-Qatar will host its first alumni event on May 18. Kepferle said the school will host a screening of a Georgetown alumni-produced documentary called the “Chronicles of a Refugee.”

The Georgetown University-Qatar’s graduation ceremony concluded a weekend of events celebrating the inaugural class of the Qatar campus. On Friday evening, an awards ceremony and dinner was held for the families of the Class of 2009 to celebrate their academic achievement

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