Texas A&M University at Qatar hosted its 83 first-year students, their families, returning students and its faculty and staff at the 10th academic year convocation ceremony last week at the Qatar National Convention Centre.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Mark H Weichold, dean and CEO, said: “With this event, we celebrate 10 years of engineering a world of difference in Qatar through excellence in teaching, leadership in research and selfless service to the community.
“Texas A&M at Qatar is a unique institution with an important mission. Our vision is to be the premier provider of engineering education in the region, a valuable contributor to knowledge internationally and a valued resource to Qatar,” he said.
Hamad bin Khalifa University executive vice president and provost, Dr David B Prior, in his keynote address recalled that for more than 10 years, he was a proud member of the faculty of Texas A&M University in College Station and was privileged to be involved in the very first decision to bring Texas A&M engineering to Qatar.
“We felt honoured to be asked to join HH Sheikha Moza’s vision for enhanced higher education in Qatar through becoming one of the first of what are now many branch campuses.
“We believed that if we all worked hard, our highly ranked Aggie engineering programmes could contribute to Her Highness’ vision in a big way. Now that contribution is being delivered day by day through the expertise, commitment and hard work of the faculty and staff of Texas A&M at Qatar.”
Dr Prior told the freshmen that joining Texas A&M will change their lives, as well. “You will be challenged to understand what is known, to recognise what the gaps are in engineering knowledge and how to find new ways forward.
“You will become the creators and owners of new ideas and always seeking innovation. You will not only become first-rate engineers, you will become leaders with the skills of critical thinking, problem solving, communication, teamwork and the vision to embrace lifelong learning.”
The programme recognised both undergraduate and graduate classes and acknowledged Distinguished Student List awardees and Dean’s Honour Roll recipients from the previous fall and spring semesters.
Dr Hamid Parsaei, Texas A&M at Qatar associate dean of academic affairs and professor and interim chair of the Mechanical Engineering Programme, emceed the event and Student Body President, Fatima Makki, welcomed the incoming class.
Returning chemical engineering students, Muaz Selam and Joseph Costandy, were two of the continuing students recognised for their academic achievements.
Selam said the celebration had a profound impact on him, noting, “Convocation made me realise I am part of a large community and we have the same objectives, to learn and develop the language of science and technology.”
“As a fourth year student, it was a great honour for me to attend this year’s Convocation,” said Costandy, OXE Chemical Engineering Honours Society president.
“This recognition acts as a force to help me continue working hard. I also enjoyed meeting the freshman students and welcoming them to campus.”