Class Speakers for October Commencement Announced

SJ Matthews and Naseem Haamid, graduates from the Classes of 2020 and 2021, will deliver remarks tailored to their classes.

September 2, 2021

(Left to right) Student speakers SJ Matthews and Naseem Haamid.

SJ Matthews (l) and Naseem Haamid will represent their classes as speakers at Commencement on Oct. 2.

Two George Washington University graduates will deliver remarks to their fellow alumni of the Classes of 2020 and 2021 at their in-person celebration on the National Mall in October.

The opportunity to speak at the National Mall is a long time coming for SJ Matthews, B.A. ’20. Degrees were conferred for Ms. Matthews and her classmates a year and a half ago, in a May 2020 virtual ceremony, where she earned a degree in classical studies from the Columbian College of Arts & Sciences.

While an undergraduate student at GW, Ms. Matthews served as Student Association president and participated in the Women’s Leadership Program. Her association with GW continues—she is pursuing a master’s degree in legislative affairs from the Graduate School of Political Management while also working on Capitol Hill.

Naseem Haamid, B.A. ’21, graduated in May 2021 with a degree in political science from CCAS.  While at GW, he served as president of the Kappa Chi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., vice president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, vice president of the Black Men’s Initiative and president of the Undergraduate Chapter of the Black Pre-Law Association. Mr. Haamid co-founded the Leah Brock McCartney Project, a mural project that honors the first Black woman to graduate from GW.

He also has worked as a community organizer at Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice to create programming that educates Bronx youth on civics, community organizing and local politics. He is in his first year of law school at the University of the District of Columbia School of Law.

The Oct. 2 Commencement ceremony on the National Mall is part of Our Moment, Our Momentum: The GW Centuries Celebration Weekend. Registration for Commencement has closed, but registration for other events that weekend is ongoing.