Congratulations, Graduates! Guide to 2024 Local Commencements

We’re tipping our graduation caps to the class of 2024! Here are the highlights from commencements from local universities, with Georgetown and George Washington University’s taking place this weekend.

Georgetown University 

Georgetown’s commencement ceremonies will be held this weekend. Each undergraduate and professional school will hold their own ceremony featuring different marquee speakers. Expect to see the following speakers:

  • School of Continuing Studies, Healy Lawn, May 16, 3 p.m. – Norah O’Donnell (C’95, G’03) – Anchor and Managing Editor, CBS Evening News
  • School of Public Policy, Healy Lawn, May 16, 6 p.m. – Todd Park, Co-Founder, Executive Chair, Devoted Health and Former U.S. CTO
  • Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Healy Lawn, May 17, 9 a.m. – Imani Perry,
    Henry A. Morss, Jr. and Elisabeth W. Morss Professor of Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality and of African and African American Studies, and Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at Harvard Radcliffe Institute
  • School of Nursing, Healy Lawn, May 17, 12 noon – Patricia Polgar-Bailey, Family Nurse Practitioner and Integrative Care Provider
  • McDonough School of Business, Graduate Ceremony, Healy Lawn, May 17, 3 p.m. – Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs of the United Arab Emirates
  • College of Arts and Sciences, Healy Lawn, May 18, 9 a.m. – Most Rev. Evelio Menjivar Ayala, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington
  • School of Health, Gaston Hall, May 18, 12 noon – Toyin Ajayi, Co-Founder and CEO, Cityblock Health
  • McDonough School of Business, Undergrad Ceremony, Healy Lawn, May 18, 2:30 p.m. – Ann Misiaszek Sarnoff (N’83), Board Member of PayPal, Cineworld and WTA Ventures and Former Chair and CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment
  • Walsh School of Foreign Service, Undergrad Ceremony (May 18, Healy Lawn, 5 p.m.) and Graduate Ceremony (May 18, Healy Lawn, 7:30 p.m.) – Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization
  • School of Medicine, Healy Lawn, May 19, 12 noon – Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent and Host of “Chasing Life”
  • Georgetown Law, Healy Lawn, May 19, 3 p.m. – Philip J. Hirschkop (L’64), Civil Rights Lawyer and Jerome H. Powell (L’79), Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

George Washington University: 

GWU’s commencement celebrations are also this weekend. Their National Mall Commencement is Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Featured speakers include:

  • Jen Psaki, host of MSNBC’s “Inside with Jen Psaki” and former White House Press Secretary for President Joe Biden.
  • Vincent Gray, B.A. ’64, former D.C. Mayor, City Council Chair and Council Member
  • Jonathan Ledecky, entrepreneur, investor, mentor and philanthropist..

American University: 

AU’s commencement weekend was last weekend, but The Washington College of Law is set to graduate Saturday May 18 at 1 p.m. Featured speakers from commencement included:

  • David Rubinstein, co-founder and co-chairman of The Carlyle Group
  • Michael S. Barr, vice-chair for supervision of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve
  • British A. Robinson, coordinator for Prosper Africa, a US presidential national security initiative
  • Caroline Aaron, CAS/BA ’74, actress, author, and playwright best known for her role as Shirley Maisel on the award-winning Amazon series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. 
  • Kwame Alexander, poet, educator, and New York Times bestselling author of 40 books,
  • Sherrilyn Ifill, civil rights lawyer and scholar who served from 2013–2022 as president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Howard University: 

Howard University’s commencement was also held the weekend of May 11. Commencement oratrix was Thasunda Brown Duckett, president and CEO of TIAA. Honorary degree recipients included:

  • Epsy Campbell Barr, Ph.D., president of the Permanent Forum on Afro-descendant people of the United Nations, President of the High-Level Commission on Mental Health and COVID-19 of PAHO, Member of the Jury of the Human Fraternity Award, Vice President of the Republic of Costa Rica (2018-2022), the first Afro-descendant woman to occupy this high position in the Americas, Afro-Costa Rican leader, two-time Congresswoman and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship.
  • Victor J. Glover, Jr., an astronaut in 2013 while serving as a legislative fellow in the United States Senate. He most recently served as pilot of the Crew-1 dragon spacecraft, named Resilience, which flew to the International Space Station, where he also served as flight engineer for Expedition 64/65. Glover has been assigned as pilot of NASA’s Artemis II mission around the moon.
  • Fred D. Gray, senior managing partner of the law firm of Gray, Langford, Sapp, McGowan, Gray, Gray & Nathanson, P.C., with offices in both Montgomery and Tuskegee, Alabama. He is a pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement, a native of Montgomery, Alabama and resides in Tuskegee with his lovely wife Carol. At the age of 93 he continues to practice law since 1954, specializing in civil rights and other civil litigation.
  • W. Marriott, Jr., chairman emeritus of Marriott International, Inc. Mr. Marriott was executive chairman and chairman of the board before retiring in May of 2022.

Catholic University: 

Catholic University’s commencement celebrations were like Howard and AU, the weekend of May 9-12. Commencement speaker and honorary degree recipients included:

  • Commencement Speaker: Jonathan Roumie, actor, “The Chosen”
  • Honorary Degrees: Rabbi Jack Bemporad, John Finnis, Teresa Pitt Green, and Father Piotr Nawrot.





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