May Is Commencement Speaker Month
“Don't give in to cynicism. It is a toxic spiritual state,” said U.S. Sen. Cory A. Booker (D.-N.J.), speaking on the National Mall on Sunday, May 15, at the commencement ceremonies for George Washington University.
Booker was among the prominent individuals invited to address the graduates of Washington’s higher-education institutions this month, starting with Howard University’s commencement speaker, President Barack Obama, on May 7.
Explorer Alexandra Cousteau, Georgetown Class of 1998 and granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau, will speak at commencement for Georgetown College of Georgetown University on Saturday, May 21, at 9 a.m. The choice of Georgetown resident Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security secretary, as the speaker at the ceremony, also on May 21, for the university’s School of Foreign Service was protested by students who object to the department’s policy of separating undocumented immigrants from their families.
Like Georgetown, Trinity Washington University will hold its commencement on May 21, with Dr. Jane Dammen McAuliffe, former president of Bryn Mawr College, addressing the graduates.
The speaker at American University’s Washington College of Law will be U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on May 22. Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter spoke on May 8 at the commencement for AU’s College of Arts and Sciences.
The University of the District of Columbia’s Commencement was May 14, with speaker Broderick Johnson, cabinet secretary and chair of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force. The Catholic University of America also held its commencement May 14, with comedian Jim Gaffigan and his wife and creative partner Jeannie Gaffigan speaking. The day before, Dr. Vinton Cerf, Google’s chief internet evangelist, spoke at Gallaudet University’s ceremony.