Speakers scheduled for schools’ Commencement celebrations

(Photo: Matt Miller/School of Medicine)

A number of distinguished speakers, faculty members and student leaders will take part in Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2021 graduates and their families and guests May 20 and 21 at Washington University in St. Louis.

National Basketball Association great and social justice advocate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will deliver the Commencement address. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the university will host eight smaller in-person ceremonies on Francis Olympic Field in place of the traditional universitywide Commencement ceremony. View details and watch the ceremony on the Commencement website.

Other speakers include:

Thursday, May 20

Aaron Bobick, dean and the James M. McKelvey Professor at the McKelvey School of Engineering, for the McKelvey School of Engineering ceremony at 8 a.m. Student speakers are Rachel Jakes, undergraduate student, and Simone Raeth, graduate student.

Nancy Staudt, dean and the Howard and Caroline Cayne Professor of Law at the School of Law, for the School of Law ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Faculty speakers are Rebecca Hollander-Blumoff, professor, and Greg Magarian, the Thomas and Karole Green Professor of Law. Student speakers are Joy Zheng, candidate for a master’s in law, and Nanyamka Fleming, a juris doctor candidate.

Mark P. Taylor, dean and the Donald Danforth Jr. Distinguished Professor of Finance at Olin Business School, for the Olin Business School ceremony, at 3 p.m. The student speakers are Christina Xue, candidate for a bachelor’s in business administration; Kendra Kelly, candidate for a master’s in business administration; and Amy Guthrey, candidate for an executive master’s in business administration.

Mary M. McKay, the Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean of the Brown School, for the Brown School ceremony at 6:30 p.m. The student speaker is Sierra Debrow, candidate for a master’s in social work.  

Carmon Colangelo, the Ralph J. Nagel Dean of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, for the Sam Fox School ceremony, held jointly at 6:30 p.m. The student speaker is Tirzah Reed, candidate for a bachelor’s in art.

Friday, May 21

Jennifer R. Smith, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and Feng Sheng Hu, dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, for the College of Arts & Sciences ceremony, at 8 a.m. The student speaker is Michelle Wang, senior class president.

Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp, interim dean of the Graduate School, vice provost and the Archer Alexander Distinguished Professor, for the Graduate School ceremony at 3 p.m. The student speaker is Jay Buchanan.

Heather A. Corcoran, interim dean of University College, vice provost and the Halsey C. Ives Professor, for the University College ceremony, held jointly at 3 p.m. The student speaker is Tiara Coverson.

Kimberly D. Manning, MD, associate professor of medicine at Emory University, and David H. Perlmutter, MD, the George and Carol Bauer Dean of the School of Medicine, for the School of Medicine ceremony at 7 p.m. Student speakers are Connie Gan, candidate for a doctor of medicine; Elizabeth Ainsworth, candidate for a master’s in applied behavioral health and research; Meghan Ann Phelan, candidate for a doctor of audiology, and Jane Elise Zankman, candidate for a master’s in deaf education; Chelsia Lovelace Bradley, candidate for master’s in occupational therapy, and Brendan Isaiah Cook, candidate for a clinical doctorate in occupational therapy; and Savannah Martin, candidate for a doctor of physical therapy.

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