Riles to Class of 2025: The new genius is a collaborative genius

August 23, 2021
Welcoming Northwestern Qatar’s 13th incoming class during its annual Convocation ceremony, Dean Marwan M. Kraidy encouraged the Class of 2025 to strive to “mastering your craft and letting your creativity bloom” as they embark on their Northwestern journey.
In his address at the ceremony, Kraidy said that “a university education is not simply a blueprint to make a living, but a roadmap to make a life,” advising the students to “keep your imagination fired up, for it is where you meld what you learn to forge a life worth living.”
“Every crisis carries within it the seeds of renewal, that the human spirit always overcomes adversity,” Kraidy told the new class, urging them to seize the opportunities for personal and professional growth at Northwestern Qatar as they navigate the next four years in a world unsettled by the impact of the global pandemic.
Drawing from her professional and academic experience, convocation speaker Annelise Riles,
executive director of the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies and associate provost for global affairs at Northwestern University, underscored the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic and other global crises have caused to world order, noting that “in moments of serious disruptions like our own, it is critical for us all to create spaces for acknowledging the unknowns, for wondering, and for tinkering, too.”
Highlighting the importance of interdisciplinary research and collaborative efforts in finding solutions to pressing global issues, Riles emphasized that “the new genius is a collaborative genius” and went on to task the new class with being open to collaborating and engaging in new discovers beyond their areas of interests and expertise.
A similar message was delivered by Northwestern Qatar’s Student Union President Krishna Sharma, who encouraged his fellow students to take their undergraduate years to pursue meaningful experiences and expand their learnings.
“Go to a film set even if you want to be a journalist; try reporting on stories even if you are a communication major; take advantage of Studio 20Q and The Daily Q, because I can tell you from my experience, sometimes we don’t realize what we are interested in before we try it ourselves,” Sharma added.
Northwestern Qatar’s Convocation ceremony is hosted at the beginning of each academic year following a week-long orientation for the incoming class, which includes the annual Northwestern ‘March Through the Arch’ tradition serving as a formal welcome for the new class and kicking off the academic year.