On Saturday, May 13, 2023, the IWP community gathered to celebrate the Investiture of President Ambassador Aldona Woś and Commencement for the Class of 2023 at the Fairmont in Washington, D.C.
The Class of 2023, along with trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni, families, and friends, were in attendance. Dr. Constance “Connie” Ledoux Book, President of Elon University, and Dr. Barry Zulauf, President of the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE), also joined the celebration as Delegates.
After the National Anthem was sung by Director of Graduate Recruitment Danielle Shover, Dr. Anne Bradley, who served as Master of Ceremonies for the event, led the Pledge of Allegiance. Fr. Nathanael Anderson (IWP Class of 2014) gave the invocation.
Chairman John Lovewell then introduced Amb. Aldona Woś. Amb. Woś was formally inducted as the third President of The Institute of World Politics and accepted her role in leading the Institute at this event. Amb. Woś gave remarks to the graduating class, highlighting IWP’s mission and the graduates’ critical role in making the world better, safer, and more harmonious. Amb. Woś also called the graduates to stand together to defend the values of freedom and democracy.
The keynote speaker was Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese human rights activist and Distinguished Fellow at the Catholic University of America. He was honored by IWP for his moral courage in the face of totalitarian coercion and received a Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, from the Institute. In his remarks, Mr. Chen discussed how he resisted the Chinese Communist Party and encouraged our graduates to stand firm in their values even when those in power attempt to suppress them.
The IWP Class of 2023 Salutatorian Gillian Marie Hand and Valedictorian Keven M. Phelan were recognized as having the highest academic honors in their graduating class. (Read Kevin’s Valedictory remarks.) A few words were said about each graduate as they crossed the stage to receive their diploma from Dean of Academics Dr. James Robbins.
Graduates received Master of Arts degrees, Certificates of Graduate Study, and Doctorates of Statecraft and National Security degrees. Members of the graduating class serve in the intelligence community, the military, the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, federal law enforcement, and the private sector.
John, President of the IWP Alumni Board, welcomed the new graduates to the alumni community and encouraged them to remain involved with the school.
At the end of the ceremony, the graduates stood and were recognized by the whole community.
The event concluded with a performance by the U.S. Army Brass Quintet, which played “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “God Bless America.” The ceremony was followed by a reception in the Fairmont’s Colonnade Room.
Congratulations, Amb. Aldona Woś and Class of 2023!
Videos from Commencement:
- National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance
- Invocation with Fr. Nathanael Anderson (’14)
- Presidential Investiture and Remarks by Amb. Aldona Wos
- Valedictory Remarks by Kevin Phelan
- Keynote Address by Chen Guangcheng
Photos by Aesthetic Images Photography