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For the Media

American University Honors Grads at 123rd Commencement

Individual commencement ceremonies for each school to be held May 9 & 10

WHAT:      American University’s 123rd Commencement
Saturday, May 9
9:00 a.m.   School of Public Affairs Ceremony
-    Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.); Doctor of Public Service

1:00 p.m.   School of Communication Ceremony
-    Susan Zirinsky, executive producer CBS news magazine 48 Hours; Doctor of Humane Letters

4:30 p.m.   College of Arts and Sciences Ceremony
-    Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture; Doctor of Humane Letters

Sunday, May 10        
9:00 a.m.   Kogod School of Business Ceremony
-    Gary Cohn, president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs; no honorary degree conferred

1:00 p.m.   School of International Service Ceremony
-    John Prendergast, cofounder of the Enough Project; Doctor of International Affairs

WHERE:      American University’s Bender Arena, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016

DETAILS:     On-site registration and media check-in will be located at the Bender Arena loading dock.  All media must be checked in 15 minutes before the start of each ceremony. Media parking for vans and satellite trucks next to loading dock. Please call ahead to make arrangements for parking.

MEDIA CONTACTS:  During office hours contact the office at 202-885-5950. After hours/weekend/day of ceremony:
-    Maralee Csellar, acting director, 202-345-3295 (cell)
-    Jon Hussey, public information officer, 202-373-9888 (cell)
-    Maggie Barrett, public information officer, 202-345-3411 (cell)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 5, 2009)— More than 1,800 undergraduate and graduate students will participate in American University commencement events on Saturday, May 9, and Sunday, May 10, in the university’s Bender Arena. It is a longstanding tradition for the university to hold graduation ceremonies Mother’s Day weekend.  

During its 123rd commencement, AU will honor 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 when it confers 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, will speak but will not receive an honorary degree. Zirinsky, Bunch, Prendergast, and Cohn are AU alums.

In addition to conferring honorary degrees at the May 9 ceremonies, the university will recognize Mieke E. Meurs, professor of economics, as the Scholar/Teacher of the Year, and present scholarship and service awards for graduating students.

The 2009 President’s Award, the highest honor bestowed to an undergraduate student, will be presented to Carrie Johnson, a double major in law and society and interdisciplinary studies for her combined record of academic achievement and her ability to influence teachers, legislators, and colleagues alike. Johnson is a 2008 Morris K. Udall Scholar, a 2009 South Dakota Senate Fellow, a 2009 USA TODAY All-USA College Academic First Team selection, Truman Scholarship finalist, and an American University Honors Program outstanding leader, among other honors.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.