The Jackson School of Global Affairs celebrated its Class of 2024 graduates today with a diploma ceremony and lunch at Horchow Hall.

The school awarded 39 Master in Public Policy (MPP) degrees, one Master of Arts (MA) degree, and four Master of Advanced Study (MAS) degrees.

The day began with a procession to Yale’s Old Campus, where the University symbolically conferred degrees on all undergraduate and graduate students from the Class of 2024. Jackson students María José Ramírez Rosaslanda MPP ’24 and Connor McEvoy MAS ’24 served as marshals, who play an honorary role in leading students on Commencement Day. Nia Kamau MPP ’24 served as the banner bearer for the Jackson School.

The graduates then returned to Horchow Hall for the school’s diploma ceremony. Dean Jim Levinsohn welcomed guests and commended the graduating students for helping write a code of ethics for the school. The document positions “critical thought, action, and community” at the forefront of being a Jackson student, Levinsohn said

“These concepts have served us well this year, in a year that’s had some challenges,” said Levinsohn. “I’m convinced they will continue to serve the school well for years to come.”

The ceremony also included remarks from Soham Basu MPP ’24, who was selected by his classmates as speaker. Basu described public policy as “the work of identifying and improving a set of norms, rules, and practices that lead to better outcomes for the public.” But at a time when policy is often ineffective and overlooks those most at risk, he believes his class has the obligation to reshape that definition through “fresh perspective.”

Soham Basu was elected by his cohort to serve as speaker.

“To achieve this end, we must be brave and not accept things the way they are,” said Basu, who will be joining the U.S. Foreign Service upon graduation. “In my career, I want to fight for justice and continue to push the threshold of progress where every successive generation demands more than its previous. In our careers — in foreign ministries, multilateral agencies, and NGOs — will we stand up and change the status quo?”

Basu invoked the current conflict in the Middle East as just “a single reminder of work of reinvention needed around the world,” but one of many that demand strong leadership amid turmoil.

“I bring this forward as a call to action for our class because, honestly, these are our issues. It is up to us to solve them,” he said. “They are not just morally necessary, but they are the line of work that we have chosen to pursue.”

During the ceremony, two students were recognized for outstanding academic achievement. Eunhyung Jo MPP ’24 received the Award for Academic Excellence in Global Affairs, given to the master’s student in Global Affairs with the highest academic achievement. Dylan Gerstel ’24 MPP/MBA received the Miguel Ferreyros Memorial Award, which is awarded to the joint-degree student in Global Affairs with the highest academic achievement.

The day ended with a luncheon with Jackson graduates and their families.

The Jackson School also congratulates its Class of 2024 undergraduate Global Affairs majors, who received their diplomas in separate ceremonies at Yale’s 14 residential colleges.

WATCH: The 2024 Jackson School Diploma Ceremony