Graduate throwing cap; students waving celebratory banner on the mall; class of 2021 tassle

GW Commencement 2021

Virtual Celebration; Sunday, May 16, 2021







Amy Cohen
Executive Director, Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service

Bagmi Das
Assistant Professor of Counseling and Human Development

Isabel Goldenberg, M.D.
Director, Medical Services, Colonial Health Center

Shirley Graham
Director of the Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs
Associate Professor of Practice in International Affairs

Danny Hayes
Professor of Political Science 

William C. Handorf
Professor of Finance

M.L. “Cissy” Petty
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Tara A. Scully
Assistant Professor of Biology
Director, Sustainability Minor

Andrew Sonn
Director, Office of Military and Veteran Services 

James Tate
Chief of Police

Michael Tapscott
Director, Multicultural Student Services Center 

Tanya Vogel
Director of Athletics


M. Brian Blake
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Presidential Greeting

Thomas J. LeBlanc
President of the University

A Look Back


Grace E. Speights, J.D. '82
Chair, Board of Trustees

Jenny Abreu, M.T.A. ‘09

Tony Dokoupil, B.B.A. ‘03

Sicheng Jiang, B.A. ‘15

Charles Kiamie, B.A. ‘00

Jennie Krems, B.A. ‘13

Sydney Sadick, B.A. ‘16

Sen. Mark Warner,  B.A. ’77

Richard A. Jones, J.D. ’84 
President, GW Alumni Association 

Conferring of Honorary Degree

President LeBlanc

Nelson A. Carbonell Jr., B.S. ’85
Doctor of Public Service, honoris causa

Commencement Address

Lonnie G. Bunch III
Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution

Presentation of Candidates

Provost Blake

Paul J. Wahlbeck
Dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences 

Barbara L. Bass, M.D., RESD ’86
Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean, School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Chief Executive Officer, The GW Medical Faculty Associates

Dayna Bowen Matthew
Dean and Harold H. Greene Professor of Law

John Lach
Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science 

Michael J. Feuer 
Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development 

Anuj Mehrotra 
Dean of the School of Business 

Alyssa Ayres
Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs 

Lynn R. Goldman 
Michael and Lori Milken Dean of Public Health  
Milken Institute School of Public Health 

Melissa Feuer 
Dean of the College of Professional Studies 

Pamela R. Jeffries 
Dean of the School of Nursing

Conferral of Degrees

Thomas J. LeBlanc
President of the University





Lonnie Bunch



Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian

University Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient

With nearly 40 years as a leader in the historical and cultural community, Lonnie G. Bunch III is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian, overseeing 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, and many research and education centers. Mr. Bunch previously served as the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, one of the Smithsonian museums. A widely-published author on topics ranging from the Black military experience to diversity in museum management, he has held other influential museum roles in D.C., Los Angeles, and Chicago. Mr. Bunch served as a museum studies and history professor at GW from 1990 to 2000.





Nelson Carbonell



Nelson A. Carbonell Jr., Engineer, Entrepreneur, Business Executive

Honorary Degree Recipient

After co-founding software company Cysive in 1993 in the basement of his home, entrepreneur Nelson A. Carbonell, Jr., B.S. '85, grew the tech company to 500 employees and exceeded revenues of $50 million before taking the company public in 1999. He regularly shares his business strategy expertise on a variety of topics at universities, seminars and conferences, as well as with the press, industry, and financial analysts. Currently the president and CEO of consulting firm, Nelson Carbonell & Associates, Mr. Carbonell serves on a variety of boards and is the former chairman of the board of trustees at GW.





Graduate posing in front of Washington Monument; graduates celebrating and walking on the mall