2009 Commencement Speakers
More than 1,800 undergraduate and graduate students participated in American University commencement events on Saturday, May 9, and Sunday, May 10, in the university’s Bender Arena. Individual commencement ceremonies were held for each school.
During its 123rd commencement, AU honored a dedicated public servant, a Wall Street executive, the founding director of a long-awaited national museum, an international human rights activist, and a prominent journalist with the conferral of honorary doctoral degrees to commencement speakers Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.); Susan Zirinsky, executive producer of the CBS news magazine 48 Hours; Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture; and John Prendergast, cofounder of the Enough Project. Gary Cohn, president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, spoke but did not receive an honorary degree. Zirinsky, Bunch, Prendergast, and Cohn are AU alums.