AU’s summer and fall graduates celebrated at December commencement

The University held its first unified ceremony in a decade

AU’s summer and fall graduates celebrated at December commencement

Students celebrate commencement ceremony in Bender Arena on Dec. 16. 

Photo Credit: Devin Mitchell/THE EAGLE

More than 1,100 graduates received their diplomas at AU’s 130th commencement ceremony on Dec. 16, the University’s first December commencement in a decade.

The event, held in Bender Arena, celebrated August and December graduates from five of AU’s seven schools and colleges. President Neil Kerwin and keynote speaker Dr. David J. Skorton, the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution who also received an honorary Doctor of Law degree, were among those that addressed the graduates.

The student speakers at the ceremony were Quentin Fulks, who graduated with a master’s degree in Political Science from the School of Public Affairs, and Rachel Landis, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Communication from the School of Communication.

“For the first time in ten years, we are graduating in December. For the first time in ten years, we are not graduating as individual colleges, but as a unified class,” Landis said. “Our university brings together unique individuals, who over an academic tenure form a common bond.”

The granting of the degrees started with 14 doctoral candidates, who were accompanied by their dissertation advisors, followed by candidates for master’s and bachelor’s degrees.

President Kerwin reminded the graduates to always remember and treasure the mutually beneficial relationship between them and the university.

“Be our most impressive and important legacy, simply by living lives of success, happiness, honor and service,” Kerwin said.

Skorton told graduates to stay connected with the University and to keep in touch with their professors and all those who have been a part of their college journeys.

“While your diploma officially acknowledges your American University education, this commencement in the company of your fellow students and friends and family is an acknowledgment no less important than your diploma, of your American University experience. Cherish both. Use both,” Skorton said.

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