Families from all around the world will gather at Homewood Field on Thursday morning to cheer on the Class of 2014.
For many parents, it will be their first universitywide commencement ceremony. But Bilal and Parveen Qureshi are no strangers to Johns Hopkins' pomp and circumstance: May 22 will mark the Qureshi family's sixth commencement.
Tomorrow, they'll be celebrating the accomplishments of their youngest child, Azam Ahmed Qureshi, who will receive his bachelor's degree in neuroscience from the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. But five siblings have crossed the stage before him in the past 21 years.
Eldest daughter Aliya earned her degree in natural sciences in 1993. Her sister Fauzia was next up with her degree, also in natural sciences, in 1995. Their sister Noreen graduated in 1997 with degrees in English and Near Eastern Studies. In 2004, their brother Mohammed earned a degree in international studies. And Farah became the fifth member of the family to earn a degree from Hopkins with her degree in Writing Seminars in 2008. Today, Aliya and Fauzia are both medical doctors, Mohammed and Noreen are lawyers, and Farah is enrolled in a graduate program at Harvard.
Expect some particularly loud cheering when Azam Qureshi's name is read aloud during the ceremony, because all five of his siblings will be in attendance.
"Hopkins became part of my family," Parveen Qureshi said. "This is an amazing campus and an amazing institution. It helped them discover their strengths and follow their dreams. It's just amazing."
She visited with President Ronald J. Daniels on Wednesday to thank him for the past 25 years that her family has spent happily connected to Johns Hopkins.
"We feel truly honored by your family's enduring connection to Johns Hopkins," Daniels said. "We are so fortunate your family is a part of the Hopkins family."
While it's a sentimental time for the Qureshi family—which lives in nearby Hunt Valley, Md.—this JHU commencement ceremony may not be its last, Parveen Qureshi said.
"We were talking last night, and my granddaughter is getting excited about Hopkins," she said. "[Asma] wants to come tomorrow. She is 12 years old. She herself is showing the interest. She says, 'I want to go to Hopkins.'"