The Institute awarded 35 M.A. degrees and five M.A.S. degrees.

The Jackson Institute for Global Affairs celebrated its graduates today with a diploma ceremony behind Horchow Hall. The Institute awarded 35 M.A. degrees and five M.A.S. degrees in Global Affairs.

Beginning at 2:00 p.m., the Jackson Diploma Ceremony opened with welcoming remarks from Marnix Amand, Jackson’s director of graduate studies.

Amand reflected on the many upheavals of the past year – from the global pandemic to civil unrest—and expressed confidence that Jackson’s newest graduates are well-prepared to take on the challenges ahead of them.

“You’re returning to a world where decades-old, centuries-old ossified structures and oppositions have become fluid, liquefied under the pressure of the demands of our times carried by a new generation. You’re returning to a world open to possibilities that didn’t exist when you started here at Jackson. You’re returning to a world yearning for leadership,” Amand said.

“We all have the utmost confidence there is no group better equipped to lead that new world than you. The times might be different, but Jackson’s credo still stands: you will find support and insight in the academic disciplines and rigor we provided. We have taught all we know, transmitted all we’ve experienced, mentored all we could. You couldn’t be more ready, we’re handing you the baton,” Amand said.

The ceremony also included remarks from Cole DeVoy M.A. ’21, who was selected by his classmates as speaker.

DeVoy exhorted his classmates to focus not on the losses of the past year, but on what they have gained and the close community they’ve built during their time at Yale.

“Our time at Jackson has been a testament to our ability to find light in the darkness, to find hope in uncertainty, and to find love, safety, and inspiration in one another, even when the world is crashing down around us,” DeVoy said.

Two students received awards for outstanding academic achievement. Liz Griesmer M.A. ’21 received the Award for Academic Excellence in Global Affairs. Douglas Gledhill M.A. ’21, MBA ’21 received the Miguel Ferreyros Memorial Award, which is awarded to the joint-degree student in Global Affairs with the highest academic achievement.

Jackson student Juan Carlos Salamanca Vázquez M.A. ’21 served as marshal. Nominated by a Jackson committee, the student marshal represents the spirit of Jackson and plays an honorary role in leading students on Commencement Day.

Jackson’s director, Professor James Levinsohn, closed the ceremony.

Levinsohn called the graduates’ journey an “epic ride”— likening it to an uphill bike ride in stormy conditions—and shared his pride in students’ ability to weather it all.

“I’m in awe of how you helped each other through,” he said. “Congratulations and good luck.”

Jackson also congratulates its Class of 2021 undergraduate Global Affairs majors, who received their diplomas in separate ceremonies.