29 April 2009

VCUQatar Commencement 2009

VCUQatar held its eighth graduation ceremony on 2 May, 2009 at The Ritz Carlton hotel. VCUQatar graduated its eighth class of new designers whose work will impact the development of Qatar for years to come. The 8th Commencement brings the number of VCUQatar alumni to 217 with 14 more students graduating after the summer.

“I would like to congratulate our graduates on their many achievements,” said Dean Allyson Vanstone. “They are entering a field that has become an increasingly global profession, and we are proud to say that our students have been educated to be leaders in addressing the design issues of today and tomorrow. With the unequivocal support of a great leader and role model, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, our senior students are already participating in projects to build the nation and upon graduation their voices will lead future design initiatives for Qatar and international collaborations,” she added.

The ceremony marks the culmination of four years of hard work and perseverance on the part of the graduates. They have spent the past four years fulfilling an intensive and rigorous curriculum, one designed to foster not just first-rate designers but well-rounded individuals prepared for the challenges and responsibilities of a highly complex professional world. Students, their families, friends, faculty and staff came together to celebrate VCUQatar graduates’ accomplishments and rejoice in their venture into the professional field as they take their expertise and innovations to every area of design.

Roger Mandle, Executive Director for the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) delivered the commencement address to the 51 graduates during the afternoon ceremonies. Dr. Mandle comes to the QMA from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island, where he served as President from 1993 until 2008.  He brings to the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) more than four decades of experience as a senior museum executive and arts educator.

“These four years at university have finally paid off, we are now designers who are ready to excel and tackle the next challenge waiting for us. I am very proud of our class and of what it has achieved. I would like to take this chance to congratulate the graduates and wish them all the best of luck for what is yet to come. I would also like to thank my family, who has supported me throughout these years, the faculty, staff and friends who have made this an unforgettable experience,” said Interior Design graduate and Valedictorian Hala Hani Akkawi.

Interior Design Class Marshal Cynthia Amir Ibrahim Batir said she was honored to be a VCUQatar graduate. “VCUQatar has given me a chance to become the designer I always dreamt of being. Not one day has gone by where I felt like I wasn’t being given what I applied for. VCUQatar has exceeded my expectations in terms of academics. As for myself, I feel like I accomplished a great deal throughout the years, even greater that what I imagined. Now, I push myself to break existing boundaries and create new ones. There is no such thing as boundaries if you are eager to make something happen,” she said epitomizing everything VCUQatar aspires for its graduate students.

The new VCUQatar graduates will join the band of over 180 alumni who have gone on to successfully establish their own businesses or take up jobs in various positions in Education City, the government and ministries in Qatar. VCUQatar continues to pave the path for students that will take them far on the innovation road.

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