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CMUQ students mark graduation.

In a grand ceremony attended by an audience of around 1,000 guests, 48 Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar students celebrated their graduation yesterday at Education City. Qatar Museums Authority Board of Trustees chairperson HE Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, delivered the keynote address.

In the Scottish tradition of Carnegie Mellon University, bagpiper John Gasper, dressed in full regalia, led the formal procession of graduating students, faculty and dignitaries.

This was followed by a declaration by faculty marshal, Selma Limam Mansar, who led the procession carrying the ceremonial Arabic sword. The Qatari and the US National Anthems were played by a string quartet.

Of the 48 graduates, 36 are from business administration, three in computer science and nine in information systems.

They were dressed in traditional academic regalia, with their caps bearing a red tassel and 2011 pendant.

Faculty members wore traditional academic regalia representing the university where they received their degree.

The ceremony began with an Arabic poetry reading by graduating senior Jummana al-Kahlout. Carnegie Mellon Qatar dean G Richard Tucker welcomed the gathering.

"We are confident that you are prepared and that you are eager to participate in the work that will need to be done to make the Qatar National Vision a reality," he told the graduates.

Nofe al-Suwaidi, a business administration senior, the 2011 class speaker, said: "In my lifetime, women have emerged as leaders and role models in Qatar. HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser championed Education City. HE Sheikha Mayassa drives the philanthropic and arts initiatives in Qatar. Dr Hessa al-Jaber leads one of the most prominent organisations in Doha. They, along with other Qatari women, have begun to change our path."

Sheikha Mayassa delivered an inspirational address to the graduates, encouraging them to be passionate about their decisions in life in order to achieve success.

Her speech echoed the words of the university's founder Andrew Carnegie, "My heart is in the work", as she recounted the success of Qatar as a progressive nation under the country's visionary leadership as an example of dedication, drive and passion.

"Who would have thought Qatar would ever host the World Cup? It all began with a dream of my father's in the 1970's," she said. "All dreams are realisable - the question is how committed are you to that dream."

Carnegie Mellon University president Jared L Cohon delivered the charge to the graduates. "Today, you join more than 80,000 Carnegie Mellon alumni. It is a distinguished group that includes Nobel Laureates, business leaders and award-winning actors, all people who discovered their passion and honed their skills at Carnegie Mellon, just the way you have."

President Cohon expressed his gratitude to Dean Tucker for his leadership and welcomed Ilker Baybars as the incoming dean of Carnegie Mellon Qatar. Baybars has served at Carnegie Mellon University for more than 32 years.

The graduation celebrations began on Sunday with Senior Celebration - an evening of awards, accolades and remembrances.

Awards were given to students for their academic achievements and student service and leadership.

The class of 2011 represented 14 nationalities including Qatar, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, and the US.

Gulf Times Newspaper 2011

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:May 3, 2011
Words:540
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