American University President Sylvia M. Burwell announced today that former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will deliver the university’s keynote address for its 138th commencement ceremony. Approximately 700 graduates from all disciplines across the university will receive their degrees at 10 a.m. Sunday, December 15 in Bender Arena on AU’s campus. Nutter, the inaugural David N. Dinkins professor of professional practice in urban and public affairs at Columbia University, will also receive an honorary doctor of public service degree during the ceremony.
“Michael Nutter’s service to the city of Philadelphia delivered results that improved the quality of life for the people of his hometown,” Burwell said. “He brought that same spirit of service and leadership to his roles convening mayors from across the United States and inspiring the next generation of changemakers at institutions of higher learning across the country. I can think of no better speaker to inspire our final graduating class of the decade.”
As mayor, Nutter managed Philadelphia through the city’s most recent economic downturn with its credit rating upgraded to “A” by the three major credit agencies for the first time since the 1970s. Mayor Nutter and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu recently launched Cities United, an initiative—in affiliation with the National League of Cities—dedicated to creating partnerships between cities, non-profits, and others to combat violence and crime among African-American men and boys.
“Every university commencement is special,” Nutter said. “It’s a celebration of a culmination of commitment, hard work and learning. I am so proud of these young men and women and excited for the change and impact that they will have on the nation and the world.”