Letter to the Editor: Choosing Cook is about more than donation possibilities

Avra Bossov, a senior majoring in political communication, is the Student Association’s executive vice president.

I’m writing in response to the article, “Tim Cook: Commencement speaker and future donor?” by Avery Anapol and Lainey Sidell (p. 3, March 2).

I’ve never been more proud of GW than when I heard the news that Tim Cook was our Commencement speaker. Cook, the chief executive officer of Apple, is a true visionary, an innovative mind and someone who’s not afraid to express his identity, as indicated by his coming out last fall.

Because I am so proud of this decision and because I’ve heard so much positive feedback since the announcement, I was upset to read this article, a piece that speculated how GW may have chosen Cook for fundraising purposes.

Every year, a committee made up of students, faculty and staff meets to consider nominations for the speaker. Recommendations come from all across the University via social media, informal and formal meetings, and random suggestions.

Cook was nominated by students. And it’s amazing that he will be our Commencement speaker. It’s amazing that he agreed to come across the country to deliver his second-ever commencement address.

For four years, I’ve worked hard: Academically, with a major and two minors. Socially, to find my place here and build friendships I know will last for years. Professionally, by interning across the city and leading our student body. GW has taught me the value of interdisciplinary learning – both in the classroom and within our campus community.

Cook is a Commencement speaker who will be able to speak to all students in the Class of 2015. His presence, and his becoming a member of our community by receiving an honorary degree, helps make GW history – instead of GW making history.

His presence at Commencement also helps usher in a moment of “Deeds, Not Words” – that our actions speak louder than our words – for our University. It embraces how we can all be citizen leaders and benefit from different perspectives, no matter our academic discipline.

I hope you’re as proud as I am for Cook to be speaking at Commencement, and that you’re excited to see him on stage in two months.

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