On Friday, May 11, 225 students received their master’s degree or graduate certificate from the Bush School of Public Service at Texas A&M University. Two ceremonies celebrated their completion.
Jenny Jopling, Director of Extended Education, moderated the breakfast ceremony to honor Bush School certificate students. In his remarks, Acting Dean Card noted that those receiving certificates are scattered across the state, nation, and world, continuing their graduate education either in person or via distance learning. Most students are full-time professionals, with some on military active duty. Dean Card noted that these students all “embody [an] intense commitment to public service, and dedication to being a leader of integrity and high principle.”
The certificates were presented by the directors of the respective programs: China Studies and National Security, Dr. Charles Hermann; Advanced International Affairs, Professor Ron Sievert; Homeland Security, Dr. Danny Davis; Nonprofit Management, Dr. Will Brown. The ceremony concluded with remarks from the class speaker, David Vanderpool, who was introduced by Dr. Sam Kirkpatrick, Executive Associate Dean of the Bush School.
Later in the afternoon, Bush School full-time graduate degree students were recognized for having completed their master’s degree in international affairs or public service and administration. This year’s graduation class of 105 is the School’s largest one.
Acting Dean Andrew Card opened the ceremony extending congratulations from President and Mrs. Bush to the graduates and noted that they leave the school as “the world’s future leaders.” “You have what it takes to meet the challenges you will face as leaders.” He also acknowledged the contributions of the Scowcroft Institute’s Army Fellows alongside Institute director Larry Napper.
The master’s students were then recognized by their respective program directors: International Affairs (MPIA), Dr. Charles Hermann; and Public Service and Administration (MPSA), Dr. Jeryl Mumpower. Following tradition, one MPIA and one MPSA professor, along with one staff member, received the Silver Star Award for their outstanding commitment to students. This year’s MPIA professor was Ambassador Larry Napper, and the MPSA professor was Dr. Lori Taylor. Bill Munns, an MPSA student, received the Public Service Organization Award for his extensive involvement in public service during his two years at the Bush School.
Following an address by Adrian Calcaneo, class speaker, Dean Card recognized the students’ challenges and personal sacrifices throughout their program and congratulated them on their achievements. A reception honoring the graduates, attended by faculty, graduates, family and friends, followed.