Schools confirm speakers for graduation ceremonies

An assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of State, a leading news executive, a Princeton University dean, and a top GW benefactor have been confirmed as graduation speakers for this year’s Commencement Weekend.

Commencement Weekend will start Wednesday, May 12 and culminate with the University’s Commencement ceremony May 16. First lady Michelle Obama is slated to speak at the ceremony if GW students, faculty and staff can complete 100,000 of community service before May 1. As of Feb. 23 the GW community has logged 73,958 hours, but these hours still have to be audited by the University.

Rose Gottemoeller, assistant secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation is slated to speak to undergraduate and graduate students at the Elliott School of International Affairs’ graduation ceremony, ESIA Assistant Director of Public Affairs Nick Massella said. Gottemoeller received her master’s degree from GW in 1981.

Prior to joining the State Department, Gottemoeller worked at the Department of Energy and spent three years as deputy director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Alumnus Ric Duques, former chairman of First Data Corporation and benefactor of Ric and Dawn Duques Hall, is scheduled to address undergraduates during their celebration May 14, Caroline Broder, associate director of media relations for the School of Business said.

Duques earned both a bachelor’s degree in accountancy in 1965 and a master’s degree in accountancy and finance in 1969 from GW.

Marcia Bullard, retiring president and chief executive of USA Weekend magazine, will be speaking to School of Business graduate students, Broder said. The New York Times reported in February that Bullard was retiring after 14 years at the magazine.

Bullard said she has yet to finalize her speech but will “probably focus on the subject of making a difference.”

Welling professor Dr. H. Vincent Poor, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton, will be the speaker for GW’s engineering school’s ceremony, said Sandra Little, special assistant to SEAS Dean David Dolling.

GW’s other schools and colleges have yet to release the names of prospective speakers.

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