Posted on July 05, 2017

As part of the Northwestern University commencement ceremonies in the United States, six recent graduates from Northwestern University in Qatar had Latin Honors conferred on them. The honors, which use Latin names – magna, summa, and cum laude – are conferred to students based on their academic performance over their entire educational experience as undergraduates.

“These honors reflect academic excellence across all their coursework, including liberal arts instructing, as well as professional endeavors in their majors,” said Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO.

NU-Q’s Class of 2017 valedictorian, Vibhav Gautam,was the class’s highest ranking student receiving the Latin Honor of summa cum laude. This honor is awarded to graduates in the top five percent of their class. Gautam, who speaks four languages, also received the Dean’s Awardand has demonstrated a string of distinctions since arriving at NU-Q. In 2014, he was awarded the Most Promising Freshman award by HBKU, took part in multiple international learning opportunities, served as president of Studio 20Q, and the media chair for both TEDxEducationCityin Doha and TEDxNorthwesternU in Evanston.

Receiving magna cum laude recognition were Jemina Legaspi and Aamer Elsayed Hassan.The magna cum laude is awarded to those in the top 10 percent of their graduating class. As an undergraduate Legaspi served as president of the NU-Q Student Union, captain of the basketball team, and co-president of the Music Society. During his time as an undergraduate, Hassan was co-president of Purple Project Service Club and captain of NU-Q’s men’s football team. He worked on multiple research projects, and was nominated for several media awards.

Valeria Marinova, Nayab Malik, and Lana Mahmoud were designated as cum laude, graduating in the top 25 percent of their class. All three students were active members of the NU-Q community, receiving several media awards for their projects, taking part in service learning trips, and in student-run initiatives.

The Latin Honor designees were part of NU-Q largest class to graduate – all having completed impressive undergraduate careers. The 47 students – representing 12 countries – produced a total of 104 research projects, 288 articles, 28 documentaries, 73 short films, 12 scripts, and 61 multimedia projects. Some of their projects were featured at the Cannes Short Film Corner 2016, the HBKU Takreem Awards 2014, and at the Zayed University Middle East Film Festival.

In addition, the highest number of minors and certificates that have been awarded by NU-Q occurred this year – including minors in Middle East studies, media and politics, theatre, and English, and certificates in Middle East studies, civic engagement, strategic communication, and public relations.