Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) celebrated the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship, and community impact with its first traditional graduation ceremony in three years, held at Multaqa in Qatar Foundation's (QF) Education City on Monday.
HBKU conferred degrees on 215 distinguished students from the Class of 2022 across its six colleges in the presence of QF Vice Chairperson and CEO and HBKU's Board of Trustees Chairperson HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani. Also present were HE the Speaker of the Shura Council Hassan bin Abdulla al-Ghanim, other senior Qatari officials and dignitaries as well as families and friends of the graduates.
Wadha al-Athba, a College of Islamic Studies alumna, presided as master of ceremonies. The internationally diverse Class of 2022 represents 47 nations; 52 are Qataris and 144 are female graduates. This is a milestone that exemplifies its continuous growth to keep pace with the country’s strategic direction and future needs.
In a congratulatory note, Dr Ahmad M Hasnah, HBKU president, said: “Since its inception, the challenges facing Qatar in its public and private sectors have been at the core of HBKU’s educational and research vision. Today, the university is graduating a new cohort of its students to be active and supportive of the development and growth of their countries. It always seeks to build bridges of co-operation with the various sectors in the country. Today, you are our ambassadors, and we are sure that you will increase the number and solidity of these bridges.”
Addressing the students, he said: “Your graduation today does not mean that you are separated from the community of your university. Your communication and support for the continuous development of HBKU and its ability to achieve its goals is extremely important. The more we communicate, the greater our impact and ability to act will be.”
The keynote speaker, Dr Recep Senturk, professor of Sociology and Islamic Studies, founding president of Ibn Haldun University and president of Usual Academy, encouraged the graduates to apply their knowledge in service to the community and humanity, to expand their horizons to the global human society, and work for a just, prosperous and peaceful world.
The student speaker, Hamed al-Shaibani, graduating with a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering, encouraged his fellow graduates to keep seeking knowledge and giving back to the country as they achieve success.
HBKU continues to support its ambitious goal to find innovative solutions to the nation’s unique challenges. Research-intensive, interdisciplinary programmes foster an entrepreneurial mindset and prepare graduates with diverse world views to shape big ideas into novel solutions for positive, global impact.
Dr Michael Benedik, HBKU provost, said: “I am proud to witness this milestone for the Class of 2022. They have been exceptional in their commitment, creativity, and willingness to develop critical research skills, despite the challenges imposed over the past two years by Covid-19. I am confident they will distinguish themselves in their professional or further academic pursuits as they leave HBKU prepared to be among the world’s groundbreakers, innovators, and entrepreneurs working for the advancement of their societies.”
Dr Richard O’Kennedy, vice president for research at HBKU, said: “Our newest graduates have excelled academically, and I hope they will carry forward the commitment to excellence and impactful contributions throughout their lives. Their interdisciplinary specialisations will set them on a path to an exceptional future. I encourage them to draw on their entrepreneurial skills to uphold HBKU’s mission to advance scientific, economic, and social development, in Qatar and further afield.”
With the HBKU alumni community now reaching close to 1,500, a diversity of careers and notable achievements demonstrate HBKU’s impact in building capacities addressing areas of national and global importance.
Dr Maryam al-Mannai, vice president for student affairs, said: “As the members of our Class of 2022 transition from students to alumni, we are confident they are prepared and equipped to make significant contributions to Qatar’s intellectual capacity and create lasting impact. The culmination of their hard work is a proud and inspirational moment for all of us who’ve shared in their journey.”
The newest HBKU graduates represent a wide range of disciplines, including International Economic and Business Law, International Law and Foreign Affairs, Applied Islamic Ethics, Audiovisual Translation, Translation Studies, Digital Humanities and Societies, Public Policy, Data Analytics in Health Management, Cybersecurity, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Sport and Entertainment Management, Sustainable Energy, and Sustainable Environment. Other disciplines are Genomics and Precision Medicine, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and Exercise Science.
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