In-Person Commencement Celebration Returns

CPS students at 2022 commencement in cap and gown
June 21, 2022

Excitement filled the air as the procession of soon to be graduates filed into the Charles E. Smith Center on May 14 to be formally recognized for their hard work and dedication as the newest recipients of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in the College of Professional Studies (CPS) and Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM)!

This year’s school celebration was the first time it was held in-person since the traditional celebration was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The graduates, with masks, looked different than last time, but the core aspects of the celebration remained the same with inspirational speakers, special and the presentation of graduates.

Once all were seated the ceremony began with Toni Marsh, J.D., program director for the paralegal studies program, serving as College Marshall, kicking off the ceremony and introducing Interim Dean Melissa R. Feuer for her welcome.

Welcome from Dean Feuer

“I want to start off the evening by thanking you, our class of 2022, for your dedication, your hard work, your flexibility, and your remarkably high level of engagement through an incredibly challenging time,” said Dean Feuer.

“Every year I marvel at how our graduates balance coursework with everything else they have going on in their professional and personal lives. But this class has done so with the added burdens of a pandemic, social unrest, international tragedy, and a climate of polarization and angst. Which makes your accomplishments at GW truly extraordinary.“ (Video: 25:28-28:36)

CPS was honored to have special guest GW President Mark S. Wrighton joining this year’s celebration and addressing the graduates. (Video: 28:37-34:11)

The 2022 CPS Distinguished Commencement Speaker was Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a former U.S. representative from Florida’s 26th Congressional District from 2019-2021. She was recently appointed by President Biden to serve as a special advisor for this summer’s Summit of the Americas. (Video: 34:25-48:03)

Student Speaker: Lorenzo J. Santos MPS ’22 (Homeland Security)

Mr. Lorenzo J. Santos, MPS ’22 in Homeland Security, the 2022 student speaker, graduated with his twin brother, Lavontay, a graduate of the Cybersecurity Strategy and Information Management M.P.S. program.

During his address Lorenzo called on his fellow graduates to “take a moment to think about a personal hero of theirs that has left this world recently or long ago. Think about the character traits that made them someone you admire and allowed them to make a positive impact on your life.”

He said that, “Whenever I engage in this exercise, I always come to a humbling realization; it's our turn. We are their legacy. We can honor their memories by following in their footsteps. As we continue our careers, let us seek to be the positive role models we are thinking of today because you may never know the impact you have on others.” (Video: 01:04-01:11) 


Six awards were also presented during the ceremony. More information on each of the awards and awardees is available, as well as the video presentation of the awards. (Video: 48:20-01:04)


During the presentation of the graduates, each graduate filed across the stage to be congratulated and have their photo taken. The evening ended in a special charge to the graduates from Dean Feuer (Video: 01:40 -01:47) and the singing of GW’s Alma Mater.

Congratulations again to our 2022 graduates! You are now part of GW’s extensive alumni network with more than 310,000 alumni. Raise high!

For more information about the 2022 celebration, visit our CPS Commencement website where you can access the livestreamed recording, download the celebration program (PDF) and find more information about the event.