Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

For the Media

American University Honors Grads at 124th Commencement

Individual commencement ceremonies for each school to be held May 8 & 9

WHAT:      American University’s 124th Commencement

Saturday, May 8
9:00 a.m.   School of Communication Ceremony
- Barbara Kopple, Academy–Award winning filmmaker, Doctors of humane letters

1:00 p.m.   Kogod School of Business Ceremony
- Seth Goldman, cofounder, president and TeaEO of Honest Tea; Doctors of law

4:30 p.m. School of International Service Ceremony
- Michelle Bachelet, first female president of Chile; Doctors of international affairs

Sunday, May 9        
9:00 a.m. School of Public Affairs Ceremony
- Donna E. Shalala, president of University of Miami; Doctors of public service

1:00 p.m. College of Arts and Sciences Ceremony
- Janet Napolitano, secretary of homeland security; Doctors of public service

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

MEDIA:    RSVP before 2 p.m. on Friday, May 7. During office hours contact the office at 202-885-5950. After hours/day of ceremony contact Maralee Csellar at 202-345-3295 (cell)

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 is located next to loading dock. Please call ahead to make arrangements for parking.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 5, 2010)— More than 2,500 graduates at American University will hear speeches from the first female president of Chile, three dedicated public servants, an entrepreneur and an Academy Award-winning filmmaker at American University’s 124th main commencement ceremonies on May 8 and 9.

Michelle Bachelet, the first female president of Chile, will speak at the School of International Service ceremony at 4:30 p.m. May 8.

Janet Napolitano, the first female attorney general of Arizona, former governor of Arizona and current secretary of homeland security, will address graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences at 1 p.m. May 9.

Donna E. Shalala, distinguished public servant and educator, will speak to the graduates of the School of Public Affairs at 9 a.m. May 9. Shalala, president of the University of Miami, will return to American University where she was a student in the Washington Semester program.

Seth Goldman, co-founder, president and TeaEO of Honest Tea, will address graduates of the Kogod School of Business at 1 p.m. May 8.   

Barbara Kopple, two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker, will speak to students graduating from the School of Communication at 9 a.m. May 8.

In addition to conferring honorary degrees at the May 9 ceremonies, the university presents scholarship and service awards for graduating students. The 2010 President’s Award, the highest honor bestowed to an undergraduate student, will be presented to Seth Cutter and Allison “Alli” Gold at the School of Public Affairs ceremony on Sunday, May 9.

As student trustee to the American University Board of Trustees, Cutter, a double major in political science and philosophy, contributed valuable insight and knowledge of campus life and kept up with substantial responsibilities to the board. During his time in student government, including a year as Student Government President, he helped accomplish an impressive list of initiatives, establishing a new African American studies minor, increasing the number of bike racks on campus, improving shuttle schedules, creating an online appointment system for the Student Health Center, expanding Eaglebucks and initiating a central office for issues regarding the registrar, bursar and financial aid.

Gold majored in political science and minored in environmental studies and Israel studies. She was vice president of the Jewish Student Association, coordinated the Freshman Service Experience, and became a mentor and teacher in the School of Public Affairs Leadership Program. As a student in the University Honors Program, with a 3.86 GPA, Gold created a capstone project that pulled together each of these experiences and accomplishments, examining sustainable water management practices in the Middle East as a mechanism to build cooperation between Jordan and Israel.

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.