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Georgetown Celebrates Commencement 2014

May 19, 2014 – Georgetown graduated over 4,600 students in 10 ceremonies during Commencement Weekend 2014, May 15-18.

The graduates, who were from 49 states and 27 countries, took 62,722 courses and earned 186,701 credit hours.

“Commencement is always such a special time for our community – when we can express our gratitude to our graduates for all that they’ve meant to us over their time at Georgetown and to acknowledge all they've accomplished in the classroom and beyond,” said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia.

This year commencement speakers, which included one current and one former U.S. cabinet secretary, encouraged Georgetown graduates to make a positive difference in the world as they leave campus.

“You leave Georgetown at a moment when our country faces a number of important public policy challenges,” said U.S. Secretary of Treasury Jacob J. Lew (L'83).

Lew received an honorary doctor of humane letters during the McCourt School of Public Policy (MSPP) commencement.

“… I hope you not only bring the analytical skills you developed in your studies, but also the ability to work with those who hold different views to fashion honorable compromises that will move our country forward," he added.

Robert Gates (G’74), who received his Ph.D. in Russian and Soviet history, spoke to graduates from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service (SFS).

“I have been a strong advocate of soft power, of the critical importance of diplomacy and development,” he said after receiving an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during the SFS commencement ceremony.

But the Georgetown alumnus and former U.S. Secretary of Defense also talked about the importance of “hard power,” and said that the ultimate success against aggressors, dictators and terrorists in the 21st century is a strong American military.

“It falls to you, the next generation of globally oriented citizens and leaders, to pick up that mantle,” he said.

Caroline Cotto (NHS’14), a human science major, says her time at Georgetown helped her realize the importance of serving others.

“My experiences through programs like Leadership and Beyond Pre-Orientation and Alternative Spring Break have given me the space to reflect on who I am, how I got there, who helped me along the way, who I want to be and how I want to give back,” said Cotto, who will teach English in Taiwan as part of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. “I know that the value of service and reflection that my Georgetown education has instilled in me will follow me not only in Taiwan but for the rest of my life.”

As graduates leave Georgetown for the last time as students, their presence on campus will always be welcome.

“As our graduates embark on the next phase in their journey, we hope that they will always consider Georgetown a home and carry with them the values that animate our tradition and inform our way of life,” said DeGioia.

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