You are here: Media Update: May 18, 2017

Hello, as promised, this email is the second of our weekly updates to keep members of the news media informed about recent developments at American University (AU). The AU Police Department continues to work on the investigation with its law-enforcement partners — the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Metropolitan Police Department (D.C.). We will make information available on developments in the investigation as soon as we are able to. For all updates and information, please visit

Camille Lepre
Assistant Vice President of Communications


American University’s 133rd Commencement

American University held its 133rd commencement ceremonies over Mother’s Day Weekend. Special congratulations go to five members of AU’s Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, who were among the graduates. AU’s Washington College of Law will hold its ceremony this weekend featuring speaker Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative.

AU President Neil Kerwin delivered opening remarks at each of the five ceremonies and addressed the hate crime and issues of inclusion on campus:

On this joyous occasion, we would be remiss not to acknowledge the racist hate crime that has shaken our community, and the pain that all of us are feeling. Make no mistake: this was a hate crime directed at African American women, specifically members of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated, including AU’s first African American female student government president. We will not stand for it. An attack on any of us is an attack on all of us.

For the video and a transcript of the full remarks, please visit:

Creating a Diverse Student Body

American University recognizes that creating a more diverse student body means increasing the number of students of diverse backgrounds on our campus. Currently, AU’s undergraduate student body is 31 percent minority. Seven percent is Black/African-American. An early read of our incoming class for the next academic year is 33 percent minority students and nine percent Black/African American. This won’t be final until August; however, it shows a 2 percent increase in the number of minority and African-American students.  

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 130 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.