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Celebrating the Class of 2022

May 25, 2022

Distinguished Commencement Speaker:


The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) held its commencement ceremony honoring the hard work, perseverance, and accomplishments of the Class of 2022 on May 25, 2022. After two years of virtual commencement due to the coronavirus pandemic, faculty, staff, friends, and family of the Class of 2022 were finally able to gather and celebrate in-person.

Johns Hopkins SAIS Dean James B. Steinberg opened the ceremony referencing the unprecedented challenges the SAIS community experienced throughout the coronavirus pandemic. He praised the Class of 2022 for persevering and achieving their goals with good humor and true resilience. Dean Steinberg also commended the graduates’ willingness to overcome global challenges and be an active part of the solution, noting their decision to attend SAIS stemmed from their belief that an individual can make a difference, and that SAIS would give them the insights and tools to make that a reality.

He concluded his remarks with a traditional African proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together,” adding the Class of 2022 would soon join the incredible SAIS alumni community shaping our future – following the many paths that SAIS graduates take to realize their hopes and dreams.

Anika Penn, Johns Hopkins Alumni Association and Council President, then provided welcome remarks on behalf of the JH Alumni Association and Council. She enthusiastically congratulated the Class of 2022 and officially welcomed them to the incredible global Alumni Association community, where their hopes and dreams will continue to flourish.

After Penn’s remarks, Ben Shinogle, Student Government Association President, emphasized what the Class of 2022 accomplished by earning SAIS degrees while demonstrating incredible resilience in overcoming coronavirus restrictions, such as fostering the creation of fifteen new clubs and hosting the Annual Cherry Blossom Ball once again.

Oumama Kabli, Student Government Association Treasurer, delivered the student address outlining what the Class of 2022 experienced throughout their studies, ranging from attending classes virtually to building a special connection amongst each other despite unprecedented challenges. She reminded her fellow classmates that there is no single path to get from point A to B, and no right or wrong answers. She further encouraged them to let their gut guide their path and to recalculate their inner GPS along the way.

Following Kabli’s remarks, Gabrielle Roberts-Hendy, Director of Scheduling and Outreach to the Dean, was honored as the 2022 Founders Award recipient in recognition of her service, leadership, and dedication to the school since 2013. The Founders Award is given to an individual who has provided extraordinary service to the school and has made significant contributions to our tradition of excellence.

Yanan Nagata, Executive Assistant in the Office of Faculty Affairs, was recognized as the 2022 Dean's Award for Exemplary Service recipient in recognition of her tremendous efforts and dedication to supporting SAIS faculty since 2019. The Dean’s Award is given to an individual who has gone above and beyond in their commitment and service to the school.

Kent E. Calder, Interim Vice Dean for Education and Academic Affairs, Khorey Baker, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Khorey Baker, and Ben Shinogle, Student Government Association President also announced its annual awards recognizing the outstanding achievements of students and faculty members.

Following the awards presentation, Dr. Lael Brainard, Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, delivered the commencement address, telling the graduates that “a commitment to mission, to providing opportunities in all communities, to embracing change, to taking bold action” are guidelines that may be important as they embark on their professional endeavors. To end her address, Brainard reminded the graduates of their understanding that whatever their professional calling may be—whether in finance or technology, or development or diplomacy—they are called to do so by a mission that animates and holds its own inspiration and poetry for them.

Dean Steinberg closed commencement by congratulating the graduates once more, and wishing them all the best in their futures ahead.

SAIS Europe held its commencement ceremony for its graduates on May 14, 2022. The Hopkins-Nanjing Center will hold its graduation ceremony virtually on June 17, 2022.

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