On May 4, over 300 family, friends, and faculty gathered to celebrate the undergraduate and graduate student members of the School of Global and International Studies Class of 2018.
SGIS Dean Lee Feinstein began the convocation by explaining that the record-breaking size of the graduating class explained why the ceremony was taking place at Whittenberger Auditorium at the IU Memorial Union instead of at the SGIS building. Numbering 139 undergraduate and graduate students, the Class of 2018 was the largest in the school’s history.
“You’re a special class to me,” Feinstein told the students, “because I was a freshman with you four years ago. When we arrived in Bloomington, the SGIS building was still a construction site.”
Feinstein described how the members of the 2018 class had fanned out around the world to study and complete internships, scoring some remarkable coups along the way.
- Five students (Lucy Brown; Maggie Eickhoff; Parker Ray Henry; Sophia Field Saliby; Dana Scott Vanderburgh) received Kate Hevner Mueller Outstanding Senior awards, while John McHugh, a Wells Scholar, received the Herman B Wells Senior Recognition Award.
- Seven students (Megan Burnham; Moira Corcoran; Max DeMar; Taylor Lawrence; Ian Riley; Richard Solomon; Mark Tyson) received prestigious Boren Scholarships to fund a year of study abroad.
- Henry Parker received a Fulbright Scholarship, while Jamie Lui was awarded a Critical Language Scholarship.
In addition, Feinstein noted that, among many other accomplishments, the class was well represented on the Dean’s List, the Founder’s Scholar List, and in Phi Beta Kappa.
Two members of the 2018 Class took the stage after Feinstein. Gabriel Ancil, of Marion, Indiana, who graduated with a B.A. in sociology and a B.A./M.A. in international studies, said she spoke on behalf of students who had overcome obstacles to become first-generation college graduates. She predicted that the entire class would go on to even greater accomplishments.
Elliot Ubelhor, of Evansville, Indiana, who graduated with a B.A. in Central Eurasian Studies, spoke next, emphasizing the intellectual curiosity and “radical empathy” that SGIS faculty instill in students as they urge engagement with the world rather than turning away from it.
Faculty members Purnima Bose and Marianne Kamp then read aloud each graduate’s name and personal message as class members crossed the stage to shake hands with Dean Feinstein.
The commemoration was followed by a reception in the atrium of the SGIS Building.