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30 August, 2010

VCUQatar Hosts Awards Ceremony

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar held its annual Awards Ceremony on Wednesday evening to celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of VCUQatar students.

The ceremony is also an opportunity for VCUQatar donors to meet the recipients of their scholarships and for VCUQatar to acknowledge industry leaders, donors and sponsors who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of art and design in Qatar.

A gathering of students, staff, faculty, family members and friends congratulated recipients as they received their certificates and gifts. VCUQatar students were honored for academic and personal excellence.

Donors this year included Abdullah Abdulghani and Brothers Company, the Education City Central Library, the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, Q-Media and Sarah and Sumai Abdulghani. Dean Allyson Vanstone thanked Qatar Foundation and the donors for continuously demonstrating proactive leadership in advancing design thinking. She also recognized the Higher Education Institute for their continuous support of VCUQatar’s Qatari students.

Dr. Dennis Roberts, assistant vice president for Education, Faculty and Student Services at Qatar Foundation’s Education Division addressed the gathering elucidating the relationship between Qatar Foundation and VCU Richmond and VCUQatar. He talked about how the artist in him was always fascinated about cities like Vienna and Paris with their architecture, public buildings and especially their coffee shops, where the intellectual elite talked about politics, arts, literature and the future of the world they lived in. He added that today Doha had joined the ranks of those and other great cities with its legacy of architecture, people and wonderful new buildings like the new Student Center, a public shared building which he promised the students wouldn’t leave because of all the wonderful art it would showcase. “We’ve got the building, architecture and public spaces, but do we have the people?” he asked. “Award ceremonies like tonight are going to be about just that because we have you, the people who have the potential to help make Doha a real great city,” he said. He concluded congratulating the students, adding that he couldn’t “wait to see what you contribute to VCUQatar.”

During the ceremony, the 63 freshmen students representing VCUQatar’s largest incoming BFA class were honored, as were the 47 rising sophomores who succeeded in a rigorous and competitive foundation program to be accepted into the Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design or Painting and Printmaking major of their choice. 22 students on the Honors program and the five winners of International Internships were also recognized during the evening. Valerie Jeremijenko, assistant dean for Student Affairs, also congratulated other VCUQatar students who pursued regional and international internships.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the scholarships and awards to 20 students including two full four-year Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned Scholarships for Creativity to study at VCUQatar presented to Marianne Janeen Bermejo and Natasha Larasati Bahri and another full VCUQatar International Student MFA Scholarship awarded to Robert Canak for being the best qualified international student applicant for the MFA program.

The evening came to a close with Dean Vanstone thanking everybody for sharing in the recognition of the talent and creativity of VCUQatar students. “The whole community works hard to bring all kinds of experiences to our students and we are confident that their education at VCUQatar will prepare them to meet the design challenges of today and tomorrow,” she concluded.

Dean Allyson Vanstone welcoming guests to the Awards Ceremony

Dr. Dennis Roberts addressing the gathering