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Celebrating the Class of 2018

May 23, 2018

The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) held its Washington, DC commencement ceremony on May 23. The school conferred degrees to more than 500 students in the Master of Arts, Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance, Master of Arts in Global Policy, Master of International Public Policy, and Doctorate programs. 

Hailing from 69 different countries, Dean Vali Nasr said the Class of 2018 represented a rich diversity of ambitions and goals. In his address, he called on graduates to advance the cause of global cooperation in which the school was founded, noting the potential for graduates to make their mark as the international order is at the threshold of change.   

The keynote address was delivered by Michèle Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Co-Founder and Managing Partner at WestExec Advisors. Flournory encouraged graduates to frame their future careers in terms of lifelong service, no matter what roles they choose. "In these challenging times, your service and commitment are more important than ever. I urge you to step up; don’t opt out," Flournoy said.   

Jeffrey and Shari Aronson received the Founders Award for extraordinary support of the school. The Aronsons' long record of support includes commitments of more than $10 million in new resources across many divisions of the university, allowing the school to strengthen faculty expertise in strategic areas of study.

Vice Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs Peter Lewis presented awards recognizing members of the class for individual achievements. Quinn Campbell received the William C. Foster Award for distinguished service to the school. The Christian A. Herter Award for outstanding academic achievement was presented to Elias Dammann, Brendan McCartney, Lauren Sidner, Emily Weiss, Rachel Xian, and Hao Zhang.

Master of Arts graduate Abigail Gage delivered the student address, emphasizing the close relationships and wide spectrum of perspectives she and her classmates will take with them into the world. Student Government Association President Natalia Arenas remarked on the ways the Class of 2018 made the most of their graduate school experience. In closing, Dean Nasr invited family, friends, and graduates to the Arena Stage for a celebratory reception. 

A commencement celebration was held at SAIS Europe on May 19 featuring a keynote address by Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs of The Scottish Government, Annabelle Ewing B’82. The Hopkins-Nanjing Center commencement ceremony will be held June 15. 

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