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Congratulations to the Classes of 2020 and 2021!

On Saturday, September 11, 2021, The Institute of World Politics celebrated Commencement for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C. 54 graduates were in attendance to be recognized for their master’s degrees.

Many of the graduates are already putting their degrees to use across the national security, intelligence, and international affairs communities. At least ten of the graduates who attended the ceremony are working with the Department of Defense, including in the Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of the Army, and Department of the Navy. Others are serving with the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army, the Department of State, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as various contractors, including Booz Allen Hamilton and SAIC. Other graduates are serving in the nonprofit sector, with a private security company, a private equity firm, and a think tank. Two of the graduates are pursuing Ph.D.’s.

IWP professor of economics Dr. Anne Bradley served as the Master of Ceremonies. Matthew Teubert (’20) sang the National Anthem. Father Charles Trullols, Director of the Catholic Information Center, gave the invocation.

IWP Founder, Chancellor, and President Emeritus, Dr. John Lenczowski, said a few words about the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and expressed gratitude to all the first responders, as well as those who have been fighting the war against terror for the past two decades. He also gave some remarks about moral leadership.

IWP’s new President, Hon. James Anderson, Ph.D., spoke about IWP’s mission, the nature of the education offered at the school, and the importance of the work of its graduates.

Dr. Lenczowski then introduced Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, who was awarded a Doctorate of Laws honoris causa during the ceremony. He described her and her family’s sufferings in concentration camps under the Nazis, after which Lady Blanka built a new life in America. Among other contributions, she created the American Institute of Polish Culture and promoted U.S. Polish relations. As a result of her impactful work, she was appointed Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland in Miami. She also founded the Chopin Institute of the United States, and she has supported numerous other educational and cultural institutions. She established the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies at IWP in 2008.

In her remarks, Lady Blanka recalled losing her country to the Nazis and then the communists, and she encouraged the graduates to “Never Surrender!” no matter what. She described her experience building her life in America, gaining experience in business, and supporting charitable initiatives. She noted that the Classes of 2020 and 2021 had learned how to think during their graduate studies at IWP, and she challenged them to stand up for their country and for what they believe in throughout their lives.

IWP then awarded a Doctorate of Laws, honoris causa to Hon. Richard V. Allen, former National Security Advisor to President Reagan. Dr. Lenczowski noted that in addition to his many achievements in public service, Mr. Allen made extraordinary contributions to President Reagan’s strategy against the Soviet Union.

Mr. Allen then gave the keynote address. He encouraged the graduates always to work to ensure that our republic is strong and to think about what is in the best interest of the United States. He advised them to make decisions based on their inherent worth, to present the maximum number of policy choices to their superiors, and not to be afraid to use their influence to ensure that the best policy is chosen. After relating his experience leading the Situation Room after the shooting of President Reagan, he encouraged the graduates always to remain calm when facing disasters.

The Salutatorians and Valedictorians of the Classes of 2020 and 2021 were recognized. Wade H. Atkinson, Jr., the Valedictorian of the Class of 2021, gave valedictory remarks.

The IWP Alumni Board President Michael Webber (’12) welcomed the graduates to the alumni community.

Congratulations to the Classes of 2020 and 2021!

Videos from IWP Commencement

Remarks by Lady Blanka Rosenstiel

Valedictory Remarks by Wade H. Atkinson, Jr.