Keough School honors the Class of 2024

The Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame recognized 68 undergraduate students earning a supplementary major in global affairs, 37 master of global affairs graduates from 22 countries, and seven PhD graduates in a May 18 recognition ceremony during Notre Dame’s commencement weekend. 

In the company of friends and family gathered from around the world in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center’s Leighton Concert Hall, graduates received Keough School stoles and recognition certificates in honor of their academic accomplishments in global affairs. Graduates from each level addressed their classmates and guests. 

photo of student shaking faculty member's hand
Master of global affairs graduate Valena McEwen receives a Keough School stole from Andrés Mejía Acosta, Kuster Family Associate Dean for Policy and Practice.

Political science and global affairs major Benjamín Rascón Gracia expressed gratitude for mentoring he received from Keough School anthropologist Julia Kowalski and human rights scholar Diane Desierto, as well as for rich learning experiences beyond the classroom such as his democracy research in Brazil through the Keough School’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies.

Political science and global affairs major Benjamín Rascón Gracia at lectern
Benjamín Rascón Gracia addressing graduates at the Keough School’s recognition ceremony.

Quoting French philosopher Voltaire on globalization, Rascón Gracia said that to “be a good patriot” should not require one to “become the enemy of the rest of mankind,” but instead, to pursue peace and embrace tolerance and cooperation as “the consequence of humanity.”

photo of audience in auditorium

Master of global affairs graduate Renée Perez, from Venezuela, acknowledged current global crises such as the war in Gaza. 

“Although today is a day of celebration, we must also acknowledge the injustices that afflict our world today,” Perez said. “For this group of graduates, the world’s gravest injustices are more than a subject of study. There are students here who have endured these injustices firsthand; students who have fought against these injustices in their previous careers; and students whose loved ones continue to bear these injustices today. For all of us in this room, these injustices demand our action the moment we walk through these doors.” 

Photo of student Renée Perez speaking at lectuern
Master of global affairs graduate Renée Perez

Doctoral graduate Joséphine Lechartre, who earned a PhD in peace studies and political science, spoke of the pursuit of peace and justice as an act of bravery. 

“It is not naïve to dream for a better future amidst the return of force and cold-blooded security calculations in international relations,” Lechartre said. “It is rather an act of courage. I believe this is what distinguishes us as scholars of peace.”

Photo of PhD student Josephine LeChartre speaking from lectern
PhD graduate Joséphine LeChartre

Marilyn Keough Dean Scott Appleby delivered his final address to Keough School graduates before stepping down as the school’s dean after a decade of service.

“I charge you with the improbable but not impossible task of transforming your experience here and the dreams we have dreamed together, into a platform for action.” Appleby said. “We will continue to accompany, support and cheer you on, as you labor with grace and persistence for a peaceful, just and humane future for all people.”

Scott Appleby at lectern
Scott Appleby, Marilyn Keough Dean of the Keough School of Global Affairs

graduates standing outdoors in caps and gowns

Congratulations to the Keough School’s Class of 2024! 

Photos by Jennifer Mayo.

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