The Jackson Institute for Global Affairs celebrated its graduates today with a diploma ceremony and lunch at Horchow Hall. The Institute awarded 31 M.A. degrees and 11 M.A.S. degrees in Global Affairs. 

Jackson graduate 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 2022. Jackson student Sarah Morell MAS ‘22 served as marshal and accepted the symbolic diploma for M.A.S. graduates.

Beginning at 12:30 p.m., the Jackson Diploma Ceremony opened with welcoming remarks from Marnix Amand, Jackson’s director of graduate studies, who exhorted the graduates to use their training to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges.  

“Today is a monumental day of celebration. Tomorrow, some of you will return to the military, in times of physical threats to democracy and the Russian roulette of nuclear blackmail. Some of you will work in development, in times of decoupling and weaponized trade policy, under the shadow of a looming famine. Some of you will work on environment and climate change, when the slightly longer-term issue of keeping our planet livable is discounted by all in power,” Amand told graduates. 

“But crisis is opportunity. 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. You’re returning to a world where your actions will truly matter,” Amand said. 

The ceremony also included remarks from Joseph Gayeski MA ‘22, who was selected by his classmates as speaker.

Gayeski reflected on the power of the individual to make a positive impact on the world. 

“International politics is not an abstract force of nature, but an entirely human endeavor, determined by the decisions of the individuals that participate. It is a funny thing; we learn of grand theories of the world, then soon realize that in practice, the halls of power have only our very human leaders and the people supporting them. This lesson is at once humbling and empowering,” he said. 

“This is our privilege and our responsibility. May we continue to use our education to cultivate our collective influence through our life’s work, from the image of the individual to the image of the world, so that we might build a future that is more peaceful, more sustainable, more democratic, and more just than the world we inherited,” he added. 

Three students received awards for outstanding academic achievement. Libby Lange MA ’22 and Jasper Vaughn MA ‘22 received the Award for Academic Excellence in Global Affairs. Drew D’Alelio M.A. ’22, MBA ’22 received the Miguel Ferreyros Memorial Award, which is awarded to the joint-degree student in Global Affairs with the highest academic achievement.

Jackson student Maya Saint Germain M.A. ’22 served as marshal for Jackson’s Diploma Ceremony. 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. The day wrapped up with a luncheon with Jackson graduates and their families.

Jackson also congratulates its Class of 2022 undergraduate Global Affairs majors, who received their diplomas in separate ceremonies at Yale’s 14 residential colleges.