The International Studies Major and Global Cultures Program Graduation Reception was held last Friday, April 30, 2010. Many of this year’s 162 international studies graduates and 43 Global Cultures Program graduates, came together to celebrate the end of the year with their parents, faculty, and friends.
Graduates mingled over cake and punch with fellow students, faculty, and family members before Jo Ellen Fair, director of the International Studies Major, delivered welcome remarks. Joe Elder, professor of sociology, and Ruben Medina, director of the Global Cultures Program, then reflected on the ways in which the graduates’ international vision gives them the opportunity to change how they think about the world and themselves. Both speakers urged students to stay connected to the university after they leave, and to use their new skills to make the world a better place.
After the Global Cultures Program certificates were distributed to the graduates, Gilles Bousquet, dean of the Division of International Studies and vice provost for globalization, delivered the commencement address. Bousquet asked students about their international experiences and underlined how important it was to their personal and professional success. He emphasized that experience abroad, which most of students in the room had received, was not widespread around campus.
“I hope that someday soon, 50 percent of students here will have had some kind of experience abroad during their studies,” Bousquet said. “You are a step ahead of them.”
Bousquet’s remarks were followed by short reflections by two of the graduates, Ashley Thompson and Alec Lichtenberg, both of whom spoke about the ways in which their experiences as scholars in these fields had changed their lives and provided them with many opportunities they would not have obtained elsewhere.
Reported by Nina Gehan, Division of International Studies