The Jackson Institute for Global Affairs celebrated its 33 graduates today with a diploma ceremony and celebratory lunch at Horchow Hall. The Institute awarded 31 M.A. degrees and two M.A.S. degrees in global affairs.

Jackson students started the day with a 10:30 a.m. ceremony at Yale’s Old Campus, where the University symbolically conferred degrees on all undergraduate and graduate students from the Class of 2016. Jackson student Elizabeth Verardo M.A. ’16 served as marshal and accepted the symbolic diploma for M.A. graduates.

Beginning at 12:30 p.m., the Jackson Diploma Ceremony opened with welcoming remarks from Professor Lloyd Grieger, Jackson’s director of graduate studies, who extended his congratulations to graduates and spoke about Jackson’s strong sense of community. “You all have an orientation toward public service and a passion for leadership,” he said.

Grieger underscored the academic accomplishments of the students. “We set a really high bar here,” he said. “You worked really hard and helped each other over the bar.”

The ceremony also included remarks from Mela Louise Norman M.A. ’16, who was selected by her classmates as speaker.

“We are 33 women and men who care deeply about this world we live in, and will continue to lead lives of engagement and action,” Norman said. “Today’s graduates hail from 14 countries. Together, we speak more than 20 languages. We are diplomats, humanitarians, entrepreneurs, lawyers, development professionals, strategists, economists, military officers, journalists and policy wonks,” she said.

Reflecting on the close community at Jackson, Norman listed the names of each of her classmates. “This is but the beginning of a long life of collaboration and friendship among us,” she said.

Jackson’s director, Professor James Levinsohn, closed the ceremony. The day wrapped up with a luncheon with Jackson graduates and their families.

Jackson also congratulates its Class of 2016 undergraduate Global Affairs majors, who received their diplomas in separate ceremonies at Yale’s 12 residential colleges.

See more photos from Jackson’s Commencement celebration

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