Northwestern welcomes fourth class, completes student body

September 20, 2011

Northwestern University in Qatar marked an important milestone this month when it welcomed its fourth incoming class, giving the University a full complement of students for the first time in its short history.

The Class of 2015 completes the student body at NU-Q and will enable the University to offer an even more robust campus experience for its students, as they pursue top undergraduate degrees in communication and journalism.

“The Class of 2015’s arrival this month is significant not only for each of the students who are joining the NU-Q community and beginning their university studies, but also for the University itself,” said NU-Q dean and CEO Everette E. Dennis. “For the first time Northwestern will have a complete student body, which means that NU-Q will be home to an even richer academic and student life experience.”

The Class of 2015 has been on campus little more than a week, but its impact can already be felt, said associate dean for student affairs Debra Wood.

“You can feel more energy and enthusiasm in the hallways, lounge, and at student events with the addition of nearly 50 new students,” Wood said. “Now that we have a critical mass of students we are seeing growth in our clubs and organizations, as well as the birth of a few new ones. Discussions outside the classroom are livelier and more intense as a wider range of opinions are expressed.”

All students at Northwestern will benefit from a greater variety of experience and insight into University life, said senior associate dean Richard Roth.

“The new class is significant,” said senior associate dean Richard Roth, “because for the first time freshman will benefit from having role models in the seniors who will show them how to study, how to behave and how to succeed here.”

The arrival of the Class of 2015 is an event in itself, but also signals the coming of something even bigger.

“Welcoming the Class of 2015 is tremendously exciting,” said James Schwoch, senior associate dean for the communication program. “But the major milestone is yet to come. Students will finally have gone through the full four-year program and we’re going to have our first graduation in the spring.”

Students, new and returning, are enthusiastic about the year ahead.

“So far classes are a lot of work, but they’re great,” said Jaser Alagha, a freshman communication student. “The work I’m doing is work that I love.”

Alagha is enrolled in four classes this semester, including global media, analyzing media texts and psychology.

Motasem Kalaji helped welcome the Class of 2015 to NU-Q and was impressed by the class’ enthusiasm.

“They’re very energetic and very excited,” Kalaji said. “They walked in with a ton of Northwestern spirit. They’re very hard working; they’re going to be great.”

Aamena Ahmed, a freshman journalism student, is excited about NU-Q’s professors and classes. “The professors are great,” Ahmed said. “Plus, it’s competitive here, and I like a competitive atmosphere.”

Though the impact of the new students is already being felt, their greatest impact on the University is likely yet to come.

“The individuals who comprise the Class of 2015 will contribute to the vitality and richness of the Northwestern student experience in ways we can’t yet see,” Dennis said. “They are a talented group with interests that range from entrepreneurship to media law to investigative journalism to filmmaking. We’re thrilled to have each of them join the Northwestern community and look forward to valuable contributions they’ll make to NU-Q.”

Class of 2015 statistics:

  • 27 communication and 20 journalism students
  • 18 nationalities represented including Qatar, United States, Tunisia, India, Canada, Indonesia, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Pakistan , the UAE, Australia, New Zealand, Iran, Oman, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq, and China
  • Qatari students make up the single largest student group