Doha, Qatar: With the administration and faculty in full academic regalia, Northwestern University in Qatar’s newest class was inducted into the University at its annual Convocation Ceremony, the first to be held in its new building.
In his opening remarks, NU-Q’s dean noted that they were gathering for “a celebration of learning and advancement of knowledge, so essential to the continued development of us all and of all things human.” He also pointed to current events, which he said has been “a masterclass in navigating conflict.”
“Since last June 5, when several nations broke diplomatic relations with Qatar and instituted a land, sea and air blockade we have stood strong, determined and resilient, supported by Qatar Foundation, our home campus, and our sister schools in Education City. While we would not have wished for such a diplomatic rupture, it has tested the strength of the State of Qatar which has conducted itself with dignity and restraint,” said Everette E. Dennis
Delivering the Convocation Address, Rami Khouri, a well-known political analyst and internationally syndicated journalist, told the students that there were three dimensions to their lives – the political, the personal, and the professional. In developing their personal and professional competence, he told them to consider “how you will be remembered, each one of you, 10, 20, 30 years from now, by your peers and by history. It is not by what you have achieved politically or even professionally, what you will be remembered for is how you behaved as a human being and as a person. Whether you are continuing in media, communication and journalism, or you to teaching or you going to another profession.”
A member of NU-Q’s advisory board, Khouri also urged the students to make use of the unique opportunity they have to study at a world class university, in a state-of-the-art facility, and with remarkable faculty with expertise across the industry. “NU-Q in Qatar has this amazing building. But this place is not amazing because of the building. This place is amazing because this is the only place in the entire world where you have together in one institution a concentrated amount of expertise among the faculty in journalism, history, communications, ethics, law, religion, and all different dimensions of the Arab world,” he said.
Also addressing the newest members of the NU-Q student body was the president of its Student Union, Nouf Al Sulaiti. Speaking to the group about what they will experience in the coming years, she noted that students at NU-Q chose the University because they all wanted to “become innovators, tell stories, expose the truth, and change the future. Northwestern is tailored to help us achieve that and much more.”
“Here, you can change the world,” Al Sulaiti said. “Go on service learning trips, where you can put a smile on a refugee child’s face. Join leadership training programs, to become the leaders of tomorrow. Receive production grants to create Oscar-winning films. Use the opportunities given to you here. Make every step you take count.”
NU-Q’s Class of 2021 is diverse with students from more than 25 different nationalities. As undergraduates, NU-Q students major in communication (media industries and technology) or journalism and strategic communication. Of the 95 new students, this year’s class includes a star female athlete from Qatar’s national track and field team, several local students who were at the top of their high school class, and international students who scored in the top five percentile of the SATs worldwide.
About Northwestern University in Qatar:
Northwestern University in Qatar draws from its parent organization, Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois), a distinguished history, famous programs and an exceptional faculty. Founded in partnership with Qatar Foundation, NU-Q provides a framework through which students explore the world and, ultimately, shape its future through its distinguished schools of communication, journalism and strategic communication, and liberal arts.