Texas A&M University at Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university, welcomed its incoming freshman students during Aggie Life 101, a three-day orientation program.
Aggie Life 101 is a series of seminars, workshops and activities designed to teach students about Texas A&M and its unique traditions, as well as what it takes to succeed at a world-renowned engineering institution.
Students and graduates of Texas A&M University are called “Aggies” and that tradition continues at Texas A&M’s branch campus in Doha. The orientation showcased the opportunities Texas A&M at Qatar offers to students to help them become engineering leaders — from social clubs and activities to transformative educational experiences, such as international service-learning trips, study abroad and undergraduate research.
Dr. Ryan McLawhon ’03, Executive Director of Student Affairs and Academic Services at Texas A&M at Qatar, welcomed the Class of 2026 to campus. He also introduced the Aggie Core Values and the Aggie Code of Honor, two driving principles that set apart an Aggie education.
“Texas A&M is committed to developing engineering leaders in the State of Qatar,” McLawhon said, “not only through the formal engineering education, but also through our comprehensive core curriculum and student life programs. The curriculum at Texas A&M University at Qatar, both inside and outside of the classroom, is strategically designed with Texas A&M’s core values of respect, excellence, leadership, loyalty, integrity, and selfless service in mind. We are extremely excited to welcome these new Aggies to Texas A&M at Qatar and to help prepare them to solve society’s future challenges.”
Addressing the students, Student Government Association President Afnan Ahmed said, “The community at Texas A&M at Qatar is like none other. For me it is truly a second home and I'm sure it will be for you too very soon. As a fellow Aggie myself, my one piece of advice to you is to be open and to fully embrace any and all opportunities that come your way, whether that may be academic, extracurricular, exchange trips, and most importantly developing the best relationships with the people around you.”
The current students who acted as ambassadors of the university participated in various training sessions earlier in the year. Orientation leaders managed the various sessions and also conducted tours of the Texas A&M Engineering Building. This year, several students from the main campus at College Station, Texas, also participated in the Aggie Life 101 sessions at Texas A&M University at Qatar.
Ahmad Afzal, one of the orientation leaders, said that the key skills he learned during the training sessions was communication and problem solving. “It is a lot of work, but I am having fun. Aggie Life 101 helps new students settle into university life. I have been a nervous freshman myself, and I know how stressful that can be, and I am glad to have the opportunity to help make it a little easier for them.”
Maryam Abdul Ghani, an Electrical Engineering freshman said that it was exciting to meet new classmates and upperclassmen during the orientation.
“I am very happy to be here, and to meet other students,” she said. “The orientation sessions have been very informative and the orientation leaders have been very helpful. The campus tour was quite interesting: When you look at it from outside, you can’t fully understand how big and amazing it is once you enter. From classrooms, to state-of-the-art labs, to student and community areas, there is a lot. I am looking forward to starting my journey here.”
About Texas A&M University at Qatar
Since 2003, Texas A&M University has offered undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and petroleum engineering in Qatar Foundation’s Education City, and graduate degrees in chemical engineering since fall 2011. Texas A&M at Qatar has awarded nearly 1,400 degrees. All four undergraduate programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org. Faculty from around the world are attracted to Texas A&M at Qatar to educate the next generation of engineering leaders in Qatar and to conduct research valued at more than $277.7 million that address issues important to the State of Qatar. Visit www.qatar.tamu.edu.