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Thursday, May 23, 2024
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University’s commencement speakers feature WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and prominent public figures such as Symone Sanders and Gina McCarthy

AU will hold seven ceremonies across two weekends, including one for spring 2020 and spring 2021 graduates

American University has announced its speakers for its 143rd commencement ceremony, which will take place the weekends of May 7-8 as well as May 21-22. 

According to a University press release, the speakers include World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Climate Change Leader Gina McCarthy, NFL Broadcaster James Brown, Deputy Attorney General of the United States Lisa Monaco, CBS News Senior White House and Political Correspondent Ed O’Keefe, Economist and New York Times bestselling author Dambisa Moyo and MSNBC Host Symone Sanders.

Approximately 3,200 graduates and their guests will gather for in-person ceremonies at Bender Arena, which will be live-streamed online for those who cannot attend in person, according to the press release.

The first weekend will consist of five ceremonies for graduates of the University’s five schools. The second weekend will include ceremonies for spring 2020 and spring 2021 graduates whose in-person graduation was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Brown, host of CBS’ “The NFL Today” and three-time Emmy award winner, will speak at the School of Communication’s and School of Education’s ceremonies on May 7.

Graduates from the Kogod School of Business and Office of Professional Studies will hear from double Eagle Moyo on May 7. Moyo is an economist and co-principal of Versaca Investments, as well as the author of a New York Times bestselling book, “Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way For Africa.”

The World Trade Organization’s first female and African director-general, Okonjo-Iweala, will speak to School of International Service graduates at their commencement, also on May 7.

May 8 commencement ceremonies will feature Sanders, MSNBC host and Vice President Kamala Harris’ former chief spokesperson, who will address School of Public Affairs graduates, as well as McCarthy, the White House climate advisor, who will speak to graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences.

During the second weekend of commencement ceremonies on May 21 and 22, the University will welcome back graduates from recent years who did not have in-person ceremonies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They will hear from CBS News Senior White House and Political Correspondent O’Keefe, who is also an AU alum. 

The Washington College of Law will hold its commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 22, where Monaco, U.S. Deputy Attorney General, will address graduates.

“Our commencement speakers have dedicated their lives to service and accepting big challenges without hesitation,” University President Sylvia Burwell wrote in the press release. “Bringing together such a distinguished group is a unique feature of AU’s commencement and a culmination of the experiential learning that prepares our graduates to pursue their purpose.”

oalafriz@theeagleonline.com 


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