Commencement 2017: "Lead Us Forward With the Knowledge You Have Gained from AGS!"

Wednesday, 07 June 2017

graduation_2017_thumbnail.jpgThe American Graduate School in Paris celebrated its 2017 graduates during a Commencement ceremony that took place on June 2nd in the French Senate in Paris. Students from the United States, Canada, Nigeria and Uzbekistan were awarded a Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from AGS, in partnership with Arcadia University. Some of them were also graduating with a dual Master's in Diplomacy and Strategic Negotiation from Université Paris Sud.

“Conferring our American degree in the French Senate to our students who come from around the world is a nice way to symbolize the international dialogue that we promote as a school of international relations and diplomacy,” said AGS’s president Eileen Servidio-Delabre. In her introductory speech, she emphasized the importance for countries to act beyond their own self interest: "Getting more than one gives: this is what most countries want. And this is not what makes International Relations, or the world, a better place. Solutions to disagreement should have no real winner or loser. Everyone should sacrifice something to resolve the issue. This is a far cry from ‘Let's get more than we give’ attitude."

The Commencement speaker this year was Georges-Vivien Houngbonon, the President of L’Afrique des Idées, an independent think tank dedicated to the political, economic and cultural advancement of the African continent. Houngbonon’s address focused on the importance of what he called “bottom-up” approaches in international relations, creating more opportunities to make a change in the world – which is the ultimate goal of our graduates as they are about to pursue their own career in international affairs.

Dr. Warren Haffar, Dean of International Affairs at Arcadia University, AGS’s academic partner, was not able to attend the ceremony this year but sent his encouragements to the graduates: “I wish you heartfelt congratulations from Arcadia University on the successful completion of your Masters degrees in international relations and diplomacy! As you enter the world with this very special skill set, our common future depends, perhaps now more than ever before, on your successful application of dialogue and diplomacy as a preferred form of engagement in international relations. Congratulations on all that you have achieved, and lead us forward with the knowledge you have gained from AGS!”

Following the conferring of degrees, Megan Pritchard, a graduate of the dual Master’s program in International Relations and Diplomacy and Diplomacy and Strategic Negotiation, gave a testimony of her AGS experience. She said: “One of the benefits of getting an education at AGS is the exposure we get to so many different opinions, beliefs, ideas and feelings. AGS is truly an international school. We have students coming from literally all over the world. [...] Being a student of IR, having so many countries and regions represented among my fellow classmates and professors has expanded my mind and has made me think about the world in so many new ways.”

Read the full transcript of Megan Pritchard's speech

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Stefan De Las Trinidad and Tobago
M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy
Class of 2014

quote leftAGS brought me closer to the world, and to those multinational perspectives that always tended to evade a simple islander. My own ideals were tested and defended on a daily basis, as I was challenged by almost everyone, from German, Russian and Ghanaian classmates to Ambassadors and professors, who have time and again embraced the practical and academic realms of life. Paris' hard-knock life style, AGS' academic structure and my own drive to succeed have definitely provided me with the foundation to give working life the pursuit it deserves.quote right

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