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AU announces commencement speakers for spring 2014 ceremonies

Katie Couric for SOC and Gwen Ifill for SPA will speak at AU’s graduation ceremonies

AU announced commencement speakers for the 2013-2014 academic year on April 1 on the AU commencement website.

SOC – Katie Couric

Katie Couric is a journalist who has hosted numerous programs throughout her career, including NBC’s “Today Show” and her own show “Katie”. AU will award Couric with a honorary doctorate of humane letters degree.

Kogod – Paul J. Diaz

Paul Diaz is the chief executive officer of Kindred Healthcare and an AU alumnus. AU will award Diaz with a honorary doctorate of law.

SIS – Paula J. Dobriansky

Paula J. Dobriansky is a diplomat specializing in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe with over 25 years of experience in national security affairs. She is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, the US secretary of state’s highest honor. AU will award Dobriansky with a honorary doctorate of international affairs degree.

SPA – Gwen Ifill

Gwen Ifill is the co-anchor and managing editor of the “PBS NewsHour” and the moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week.” AU will award Ifill with a honorary doctorate of laws.

CAS – Cecilia Muñoz

Cecilia Muñoz is the director of the Domestic Policy Council and assistant to the president of the United States. AU will award Muñoz with a honorary doctorate of public service.

WLC – Judy A. Smith

Judy A. Smith is the president and founder of Smith & Company and a WCL alumnus. Smith was the inspiration for Olivia Pope in ABC’s “Scandal.” AU will award Smith with a honorary doctorate of laws degree.

Lengthy process behind selecting speakers

David Taylor, the president’s chief of staff and secretary, said that the President’s Office works with the deans of each school to begin the process of choosing commencement speakers. This process takes months, up to over a year in the case of Couric.

“Our objective is to invite speakers whose life achievements are laudable and whose comments will provide insight and be of interest to the various audiences,” Taylor said. “We have that this year.”

Commencement ceremonies will be held in Bender Arena.

On May 10,

  • the School of Communication ceremony will be held on 9 a.m.
  • the Kogod School of Business ceremony will be held at 1 p.m.
  • the School of International Service ceremony will be held 4:30 p.m.

On May 11,

  • School of Public Affairs ceremony will be held at 9 a.m.
  • the College of Arts and Sciences ceremony will be held at 1 p.m.

The Washington College of Law ceremony will be held May 18 at 1 p.m.

dlim@theeagleonline.com


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