Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of the Arts in Qatar, set to celebrate its 20th anniversary in Education City, will henceforth be known as VCUarts Qatar, reflecting a brand alignment based on the main campus’ identity.
The change, which includes changing VCUQatar’s logo to VCUarts Qatar, will now reflect the full name of the branch campus: Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar.
VCUarts Qatar was the first US university in Education City. Activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary will begin this month, kicking off with the 20/20/20 Alumni Exhibition, celebrating the diversity of alumni and their successes in the art and design fields. More events will follow through the end of the academic year of 2018.
“VCUarts and VCUarts Qatar’s brand alignment is a tangible, visible expression of our commitment to art and design in Qatar and beyond, and to remain steadfast in our goals to empower our students to become leading artists and designers who will preserve culture while creating the innovation that will drive Qatar towards its goals,” said Akel I Kahera, dean of VCUarts Qatar.
The evolved brand identity will be rolled out to all VCUarts Qatar channels, partners, communications, and experiences beginning this month.
According to VCUarts Qatar’s executive director of communications, Hallema Sharif, designing a brand mark to work seamlessly across all digital platforms, while preserving its heritage, was key to the overall effort that also includes one of the most comprehensive brand systems ever introduced to the VCUarts family.  
The brand alignment demonstrates the university’s commitment to fostering a global arts community, exemplified by establishing the campus in 1998 and offering fully accredited American art and design degrees in an international context.
The school began as the Shaqab College of Design Arts, offering majors in Graphic Design, Fashion Design, and Interior Design, with the first classes enrolling in September 1998. In 2001, the Virginia State Council of Higher Education recommended to the Governor and the General Assembly that Shaqab College of Design Arts become a formal branch campus of VCU. It was authorised by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s legislature in 2002.
In 2009, two more academic programmes were added to the School of the Arts in Qatar: a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Printmaking and a Master of Fine Arts in Design Studies.During the fall semester of 2012, VCUarts Qatar welcomed the first group of students into the new BA Art History programme.
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