Syracuse University

Dubai Reception Held for Admitted Students and Alumni

Following a successful reception held earlier in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Syracuse University hosted a second reception for admitted students and alumni from the Gulf in Dubai, UAE.

This was the first such event held in Dubai by Syracuse University. Around 60 alumni, admitted students and parents came out for the event at the beautiful Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

Representing Syracuse University was Sherlyn Sychua, the regional manager for advancement and external affairs/admissions, as well as Karen Bass, director of international undergraduate admissions, who was available via videoconference. Bass shared a variety of information about Syracuse University and fielded a number of questions regarding academics and campus life. 

Also there from Syracuse University was Jim O'Connor, executive director of Middle East advancement and external affairs. A highlight of the reception was his introduction of alumni Michael Venutolo of Bahrain and Reda Raad of Dubai who will be founding members of the first Regional Council formed outside the United States. Regional councils typically consist of a dozen or so alumni in a location (such as Boston, New York, LA, Chicago) who agree to devote time to elevating the presence of Syracuse University in their city. The full Regional Council membership will be announced at a kick-off meeting in June.

The alumni, students and parents in attendance were mostly from the United Arab Emirates, but some traveled from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. "Though attendees hailed from various areas of the Gulf, they all came with similar expectations--to connect with others who have shared or are about to share the experience of attending Syracuse University," said Sychua. "The direct, first-hand perspective of the alumni is invaluable in helping these students prepare to study abroad."

Due to the growing interest among Gulf students to attend U.S. universities and the increasing numbers of students who come to Syracuse from this part of the world, these types of events are vitally important. "The receptions we hold for admitted students are an integral component of recruiting and admissions," continued Sychua. "They offer the chance for students to connect with others who have achieved what they are setting out to do. Having that perspective and a new network of connections makes the pending experience feel a little less unfamiliar."