Provost Steven Lerman praised the more than 275 doctoral degree recipients at a hooding ceremony Thursday, calling on graduates to sustain a powerful thirst for knowledge.
Lerman touted ethical obligations paired with earning the University’s highest degree, including continued academic curiosity and a commitment to public service.
“The doctoral degree you get carries with it the responsibility to challenge yourself throughout your life,” he said. “By exploring new areas, you will find you will rekindle again and again that flame of curiosity.”
As part of the traditional ceremony, doctoral candidates from across GW’s schools received hoods, or colorful sashes, to be placed on graduation gowns at the University-wide Commencement ceremony Sunday.
Along with challenging graduates to “make good use” of their degrees, Lerman urged the doctoral degree recipients to use their education to help others and remember their alma mater’s namesake and George Washington’s commitment to service.
“It’s very much in the DNA of the University to commit ourselves to public service,” he said. “I urge you to remember that the larger community beyond your work and your job can benefit from the special abilities you have.”
Faculty presented the graduates with their doctoral hoods, lined with the official colors of the University and a colored trim to represent the recipients’ new areas of specialty.
This year, graduates earned doctorates in philosophy, psychology, science, education, public health and nursing practice.
University President Steven Knapp paid tribute to past recipients of GW’s doctoral degree as inspiration for this year’s graduates.
“Today, with the support of your family and friends, with your teachers’ and mentors’ support, you follow in the footsteps of these distinguished alumni and many more I could have mentioned,” Knapp said.
Among the alumni Knapp named off were David Shinn, an adjunct professor and former ambassador to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, and Christopher Bright, a leading scholar of American diplomatic and political history.
Knapp also urged graduates to keep strong ties to the University.
“I trust that whatever your future endeavors may lead you to do, you will always regard the George Washington University as your intellectual home in this nation’s capital city,” he said.