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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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2015 commencement speakers include environmentalists, entrepreneurs

The first American woman to walk in space and a founding partner of BET are among this year’s speakers.

AU announced that it will host two female and four male commencement speakers at the 2014-2015 graduation ceremonies on the school’s website on March 24.

School of Public Affairs - William K. Reilly

William K. Reilly is a politician and scholar focused on environmental issues. He has served as president of numerous organizations including the World Wildlife Fund and the Conservation Foundation. He now serves as an Senior Advisor to TPG Capital, an international investment partnership.

School of Communication - Sheila C. Johnson

Sheila Johnson is an entrepreneur who served as a founding partner of Black Entertainment Television and currently manages luxury properties owned by Salamander Hotels & Resorts. She also serves as part-owner of the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics. Her film work includes executive producing four documentaries and financing the 2013 film “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

College of Arts and Sciences - Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D

Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D is an administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. She has spent her career in pursuits ranging from oceanography to weather mapping and climate science. She joined the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1978 and was the first American woman to walk in space.

Kogod School of Business - Mark A. Weinberger

Mark A. Weinberger is the Global Chairman and CEO of EY, also known as Ernest & Young, which is a multinational company that provides assurance, tax and advisory services, according to its website. He received his Masters of Law in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center, and previously worked as the Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury on Tax Policy under the George W. Bush Administration and was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the U.S. Social Security Administration Advisory Board. He serves on the Board of Trustees for Emory University and Board of Directors for Catalyst, which seeks to expand opportunities for women in business, according to its website.

School of International Service - Robert F. Smith

Robert F. Smith is the Chairman and CEO of the private equity firm Vista Equity Partners and guides the company’s focuses on enterprise software, data and technology-based solutions. He previously worked for Goldman Sachs in mergers and acquisitions. He holds a chemical engineering degree from Cornell University and a Master of Business Administration from the Columbia Business School. He is the chairman of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and received the 2010 Ripple of Hope Award for the organization.

Washington College of Law - Thomas C. Goldstein

Thomas C. Goldstein graduated from the Washington College of Law in 1995 and now works as an appellate advocate at Goldstein & Russell, P.C. He has worked as an appellate advocate for approximately 10 percent of all Supreme Court merit cases over the last 15 years and personally argued 35. Goldstein taught Supreme Court Litigation at Harvard Law School and Stanford Law School and is co-founder and publisher of SCOTUSblog.

Section 202 host Gabrielle and friends go over some sports that aren’t in the sports media spotlight often, and review some sports based on their difficulty to play. 

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