American University's 126th Commencement has ended. Congratulations to all of our graduates!

 

Click here to watch President Neil Kerwin's address to graduates.

 


College of Arts and Sciences Ceremony Highlights

Wayne Clough addresses graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences

 

Wayne Clough, the 12th secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, told graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences that he considers himself one of them. "Here, today, I am proud to say, and with apologies to President John F. Kennedy, and all the AU language professors: Ich bin ein wonk. In fact I think I was one before Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg made it profitable and cool...And as you all know, wonk spelled backwards is know. It pays to know. Knowledge is power. And when you leave here, whatever your avocation, the farther up the ladder you ascend, and make no mistake, you will as AU graduates ascend; you will be called upon to use power wisely. This city, this country, need you and what you can do. This world needs what you do as well.”

Three student achievement award winners were recognized: Jennifer M. Jones received the Stafford H. Cassell Award; Margaret Elizabeth Palermo received the Evelyn Swarthout Hayes Award; and Tonei Glavinic received the Charles W. Van Way Award.



School of Public Affairs Ceremony Highlights

Erskine Bowles addresses graduates of the School of Public Affairs

 

Erskine Bowles, former president of the University of North Carolina system and White House chief of staff for President Clinton, told graduates of the School of Public Affairs that "I am very honored to be a member of the Class of 2012, the most politically astute class in America."

"I believe that this generation faces the most predictable economic crisis in history," Bowles said. "Fortunately for us, it's also the most avoidable...I’m confident that if you all can get politicians to put partisanship aside and pull together rather than pull apart, the future of this country is very, very bright."

Carol Elizabeth Foster was presented with the President's Award. Three University Student Award recipients were recognized: Brian J. Hanson received the award for outstanding scholarship at the undergraduate level; Nathan Bronstein received the award for outstanding service to the university community; and Philip S. Cardarella received the Kinsman Hurst Award.

"There is something special and unique here," said Bronstein, who also received the Cathryn Seckler Hudson Award. "I believe that we will be the greatest generation, not because it's easy, but because it's what we're prepared to become. Class of 2012, we have a world to save, so together, let's get back to work."

William LeoGrande delivered his final remarks to students as dean. "You graduate at a moment when great challenges face our nation and the world, LeoGrande said. "Most of you came here because you wanted to make a difference. You wanted to make the world a better place. Well, we've left you plenty of work to do—so get to it."

 

School of International Service Ceremony Highlights



Rajiv Shah addresses graduates of the School of International Service

 

Speaking to graduates of the American University School of International Service, Dr. Rajiv Shah, an MD who serves as the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), said, “More than ever before, people from all walks of life and all corners of the country are feeling inspired to tackle the challenges of development."

Speaking directly to the graduating students, Shah continued, "What you do matters enormously, despite the mammoth challenges you encounter. Moments when you realize that you have the power to make the unreal, suddenly…powerfully…real." Shah received an honorary doctor of international affairs degree.

Undergraduate student Heather Ann Rogers spoke about the importance of international travel during her address to fellow graduates.

Two University Student Award recipients were recognized: Dylan Craig, for outstanding scholarship at the graduate level; and Elise R. Alexander, for outstanding scholarship at the undergraduate level. Miranda Nicole Schaeffer received the Fletcher Scholar Award, Meredith L. F. Lukow the Bruce Hughes Award, and Yating Wan the Carlton Savage Award.



Kogod School of Business Ceremony Highlights



Barbara Krumsiek addresses graduates of the Kogod School of Business

 

Kogod School of Business commencement speaker Barbara J. Krumsiek, chair, president, and CEO of Calvert Investments Inc., told graduates, “I believe that, in the years to come, your university’s vision will become the standard, that businesses will see the value of morally engaged, ethical employees, and that schools will respond by incorporating sustainable business practices into the core of their curricula.” Krumsiek received an honorary doctor of laws degree.

Graduate speaker Julie T. Jones and undergraduate speaker Einar Barr also delivered addresses. Jones and her husband, Kevin, both received MBAs at today's ceremony. Christian James Kingston was presented with the Charles C. Glover Award.

New Kogod dean Michael J. Ginzberg told the graduates, “Your actions and accomplishments demonstrated to me in my first year here the exceptional quality that exists within our business school and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead for all of us.”

  


School of Communication Ceremony Highlights



Thomas Curley addresses graduates of the School of Communication



“When you arrived here four, or more, years ago, there was no iPad,” Thomas Curley, president and CEO of the Associated Press, told the AU School of Communication graduating Class of 2012. “Facebook barely extended beyond a campus in Cambridge...So change—actually turbulence—is what you face and I think why you are so fortunate. More than any other time in history...young people are free to invent their world.” Curley received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

Student speakers Peter H. Kimball, graduate, and Lindsey Marie Anderson, undergraduate, also addressed the class.

Three award winners were recognized: Kimball, the University Student Award for Outstanding Scholarship at the Graduate Level; Lauren C. Christie, the Evelyn Swarthout Hayes Award; and Pang Dao Moua, the Harold Johnson Award. AU president Neil Kerwin acknowledged the retiring of SOC dean Larry Kirkman “following a decade of distinguished and visionary service.”


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