In joyful harmony 111 new voices raised to sing “Hail O Georgetown Alma Mater” at Thursday night’s Annual New Student Convocation at Georgetown University in Qatar.
The ceremony is the culmination of a busy week of orientation activities that prepare the students to enter life at Georgetown. From meeting their academic deans and getting their course schedules, taking language placement tests, learning about clubs and activities, and bonding with their classmates, the students get a chance to familiarize themselves with what will be expected of them in the years to come.
At the convocation, the students got a chance to reflect and recognize the solemn occasion of their passage to university through a formal initiation into Georgetown’s academic community. In the presence of their parents, they were introduced to Georgetown’s history, traditions, and commitment to its founding values, and asked to take the Honor Pledge. They were then considered official members of the prestigious Georgetown student body, and able to don their academic robes, which they will not wear again until their graduation in four years.
Commenting on the important and time-honored tradition, GU-Q Dean Ahmad Dallal said, “To become a Georgetown student is to join a global community of knowledge seekers, and this ceremony helps the new students understand the advantages and responsibilities that this confers on them.” Twenty-nine countries including Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, Jordan, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan and the United States are represented among the new students enrolled, with 38 students hailing from Qatar. The Universities well-respected internationally-focused curriculum has a history of attracting exceptional students, locally and from around the world.
“The next four years are some of the most important in our students’ lives, and we take our responsibilities seriously to deliver the same rigorous interdisciplinary International Affairs curriculum as the one offered on our campus in Washington, DC,” says Dean Dallal. “At the same time, we also know that education is about far more than what is learned in the classroom, and we take care to ensure that our students have the chance to apply their knowledge in real life situations, and encourage them through a variety of activities to also grow spiritually and emotionally to be healthy, well rounded global citizens.”
The students will soon have a choice of majors from International Economics, International Politics, Culture and Politics or International History, can choose to minor in Arabic, and can take additional courses and conduct research to earn a Certificate in American Studies, Arab and Regional Studies, and the Media and Politics Certificate, a joint program with Northwestern University in Qatar. Upon completion, students join an alumni body that contributes to a broad array of sectors in Qatar and the region, including the government, banking, oil and gas, communications and nonprofits.