Former Md. Gov. Hogan, Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson among others to speak at American U.’s commencement ceremonies

Students graduating from American University’s Class of 2023 will get the opportunity to hear from “an unparalleled roster” of speakers at its graduation commencement ceremonies in May.

In honoring the university’s 60-year anniversary of former President John F. Kennedy’s landmark “A Strategy of Peace” speech, the school announced speakers who have “deep ties” to the area and are cultural and political leaders of our time.

On May 12, the university’s schools of communication and education will hear from Ted Leonsis, the owner of several local professional sports teams and the founder of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. On the same day, students from the university’s School of International Service will hear from Alice Albright, CEO of the foreign aid agency Millennium Challenge Corporation.

On May 13, students from the university’s School of Public Affairs will hear from former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan while students from The Kogod School of Business will hear from Nasdaq Chair and CEO Adena Friedman. In an evening ceremony, The College of Arts and Sciences’ commencement speaker will be Julie Kent, the artistic director of the Washington Ballet.

Lastly, on May 20, Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson plans to deliver a speech to students of the Washington College of Law.

“Only at American University do six changemakers of this caliber come together to celebrate our graduates and charge them to continue their pursuit of the change our world needs,” American University President Sylvia Burwell said in a statement.

“Our commencement speakers set examples for us all through their lives and experiences, and they will provide an inspiring conclusion for our Class of ’23 Eagles.”

Last year’s speakers included NFL broadcaster James Brown, bestselling author and economist Dambisa Moyo and World Trade Organization director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, among others.

The commencement will be streamed live to the public online.

Ciara Wells

Ciara Wells is the Evening Digital Editor at WTOP. She is a graduate of American University where she studied journalism and Spanish. Before joining WTOP, she was the opinion team editor at a student publication and a content specialist at an HBCU in Detroit.

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