Student Honors Announced

June 16, 2020

Northwestern University will hold its 162nd commencement on June 19th for its 12 schools, including NU-Q. Alongside the commencement ceremony, NU-Q has announced this year’s valedictorian and Latin Honor recipients.

At Northwestern’s commencement NU-Q graduates will have their bachelor’s degrees from the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, and the School of Communication conferred at a virtual ceremony that will include Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot as the featured speaker. 

“As we prepare for Northwestern’s commencement ceremony, we highlight several students with academic achievements that deserve to be recognized. These students not only hold an enviable record of academic distinction but also demonstrate the highest level of leadership,” said Craig LaMay, acting dean of NU-Q.

Latin Honors – designated at summa, magna, and cum laude – date back to the 19th century and are commonly used in American universities to recognize students of the highest academic distinction. The class valedictorian is traditionally the student with the highest ranking.

This year, the highest-ranking students are also the class valedictorians. Muhammad Humam and Ayza Sheikh were tied in the ranking, and along with being designated as summa cum laude graduates, they were also named class valedictorians.


Four of this year’s graduates received the magna cum laude recognition. Maha Essid, Malek Al Manaa, Sahar Ahmed ElKabash, and Sarah Shaath were recognized in a category that typically represents students in the top 10 percent of their graduating class.

Aimen Ahmed Jan, Fareehan Salah Zaki Moustafa Elgakhlab, Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman, Noor Mazen Abdulqader Abunaba'a, Sana Zehra, and Sara Hamad KH. H. Al-Thani graduated in with the cum laude distinction, which typically represents the top 25 percent of their class.

The class of 2020 will join a worldwide network of more than 200,000 Northwestern alumni. Graduates of NU-Q hold positions with leading organizations in the region, including Al Jazeera Media Network, Qatar’s Government Communications Office, Qatar Media Corporation, Amiri Diwan, Doha Film Institute, Qatar Museums, Hamad Medical Corporation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (Qatar World Cup 2022), Qatar Airways, Qatar Foundation, Ras Gas, and Total Energy and Petroleum.

In addition, 25 percent of NU-Q graduates pursue graduate degrees at leading universities, including Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Cornell, New York University, Northwestern, and the London School of Economics, among others.