Posted on May 11, 2018

Texas A&M University at Qatar graduated its 900th engineer 10 May in a ceremony attended by Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation.

Also present were His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry for the State of Qatar and chair of Texas A&M at Qatar’s Joint Advisory Board; and Dr. Mohammed Yousef Al-Mulla, Managing Director and CEO of Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO) and chair of Texas A&M at Qatar’s Dean’s Development Council.

More than 100 students walked across the stage of the Qatar National Convention Centre during Texas A&M at Qatar’s annual commencement ceremony, including 89 students who earned their bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and petroleum engineering. Of those, 49 degrees were awarded to Qatari graduates. In addition, 14 graduate students earned their Master of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in chemical engineering. Her Excellency Sheikha Hind said, “Fifteen years ago, Texas A&M University at Qatar opened its doors in Education City, welcoming 29 students. I am delighted to see that there are 103 young men and women graduating from the university today.

Over the last number of years, Texas A&M at Qatar has been preparing these students to become the next generation of engineering leaders, equipped with the knowledge and skills to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. I am confident that these young men and women will continue to develop as individuals and help build a better world. Congratulations, Class of 2018.” The night’s invited guest speaker was W.L. “Bill” Bullock Jr, president of ConocoPhillips Asia Pacific & Middle East and a Class of 1986 graduate of Texas A&M University. Bullock talked about the core values that are instilled in every Aggie: excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service.

“Whatever you choose to do, choose also to make the world a better place,” Bullock said. “The choices you make in the quiet when no one is watching will define who you are as a person. My advice to you is simple: Be an Aggie. As you take your next step on your lifelong journey, remember that the men and women who have gone before you, your classmates here with you tonight, and those who will follow all have a claim on you. They are expecting you to make the world a better place, to pursue excellence in whatever you do, to contribute to society, and to set a high standard for what it means to be an Aggie for future generations.”

In his speech to his fellow graduates, Basel Hindi — one of the evening’s mechanical engineering graduates — talked about his childhood spent in Texas near Texas A&M’s main campus in College Station. “Growing up, I knew I wanted to be an Aggie,” Hindi said. “Students at A&M were part of a shared culture, a family. When we moved to Qatar, I found out that Texas A&M had a branch campus here in Doha. This university — with its unique combination of an American foundation and Arab roots — struck a chord with me and I knew that I would one day attend Texas A&M at Qatar. Now, I stand humbly before you as a graduated Aggie.” 

Hindi continued, “Today, our celebration is bittersweet: We’re grateful for the lessons learned and the characters that we’ve built but dismayed that it’s over. We are blessed for the friendships that were built in these four years, the support of our families and the transfer of knowledge from world-class professors. And for that, I say ‘thank you’. I can only imagine how the Aggie class of 2018 will impact the world. Here’s to bigger and better things.” Texas A&M at Qatar dean Dr. César O. Malavé presided over the ceremony and said, “The graduates I see before me today are a shining example of the best and brightest Qatar has to offer. Whatever paths you choose to take and whatever challenges you face, remember your years at Texas A&M and the lessons you learned here. You are engineering leaders in Qatar, and you will transform this country and make the world a better place for all.”

Charles W. Schwartz, chairman of the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System, brought greetings on behalf of the A&M System and Texas A&M vice provost Dr. Michael Benedik addressed the students on behalf of the main campus. Dr. Nayef Alyafei — a Class of 2009 petroleum engineering graduate of Texas A&M at Qatar and now a faculty member — inducted the graduates into The Association of Former Students, Texas A&M’s alumni organization that comprises the nearly 480,000 graduates of the university and is known worldwide as the Aggie Network.