VCUarts Qatar held a grand day of celebration at the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort and Convention Hotel as it marked the university’s 20th anniversary in Qatar, its 2018 commencement ceremony, and the awards that several of its students received from the Arab Engineering Bureau.

20th Anniversary and 2018 Commencement Ceremony 

The day began with the commencement as graduating students were conferred their degrees, made memorable by inspiring speeches delivered by faculty, graduates, and the keynote speaker. The event brought together families, friends and staff to celebrate the accomplishments of VCUarts Qatar’s graduates. Shawn Brixey, Dean of Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, and the commencement’s keynote speaker, told the students to ‘be the pioneer of discoveries and harness the creative daring to make the world a more verdant, imaginative, and better home to all of us’.

The university conferred 53 Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees in fashion design, graphic design, interior design, painting and printmaking, and art history; and four Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees in design. The 17th Commencement brings the number of VCUarts Qatar alumni to 677. According to Dr Donald N Baker, Executive Dean of VCUarts Qatar, there has been a steady source of innovation and alternative ways of looking at the world and at ourselves, in VCUarts Qatar.

As we end our 20th Year, we continue to be excited about the opportunities to cultivate a dynamic inter-cultural environment of research, learning and community engagement that provides the context for the holistic development of exemplary artists, designers and scholars to build vibrant communities and diversified economies.’

The Class of 2018 Co-Valedictorians Asma Hasan, and Dimitri Salomão gave well-received speeches where they thanked their families, fellow graduates, friends, and faculty, and looked forward to what comes next.

AEB Awards

Arab Engineering Bureau (AEB) presented the 2018 awards for Design Excellence and Creative Achievement and Potential to two graduating and two junior students from VCUarts Qatar at the 20th Anniversary Gala.

AEB Group CEO and Chief Architect Ibrahim Mohamed Jaidah, a long-time supporter and friend of VCUarts Qatar, presented the Arab Engineering Bureau Award for Design Excellence in Graphic Design to graduating student Amira Natsheh, and for Design Excellence in Interior Design to graduating student Zeina Sleiman.

The awards were instituted by Jaidah to encourage and assist graduating students as they start their careers as designers in Qatar and the region. Jaidah is recognised as a pioneer of a new architectural movement that combines the far-reaching influences of Islamic art with modern styles to create landmark structures that are shaping Qatar.

The Arab Engineering Bureau Award for Creative Achievement in Graphic Design was presented to graphic design junior Hind Al Kuwari, and for Creative Achievement in Interior Design to interior design junior Naurin Parambil.

These awards aim to help the junior students recognise their true potential, create leadership and encourage them to continue developing their skills through their senior year.  The awards are a major highlight of the academic year for VCUarts Qatar students.

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