Honorary Degree Recipients, President’s Medal Awardees to be Recognized during Commencement Celebrations

Honorees include Mayor Muriel Bowser, Mike Milken and three members of the GW faculty.

May 15, 2023

GW Today Commencement

Clockwise from upper left: Mary Ellsberg, Frank Sesno, Walter Reich, Mike Milken and Muriel Bowser.

The George Washington University will recognize several university partners and members of the GW community with awards during Commencement Week.

Muriel Bowser, mayor of the District of Columbia, will receive an honorary Doctor of Public Service at the noon Columbian College of Arts and Sciences celebration on Saturday. She will be recognized for her groundbreaking role as the first African American woman to be elected to three full terms as mayor of an American city, her leadership during the pandemic and her advancement of transformational economic projects, including the Cedar Hill Regional Medical Center, GW Health, which provides opportunities for GW’s academic medical faculty to support the health care needs of the citizens in Ward 7 and Ward 8.

During Commencement on the National Mall, Mike Milken will be honored for his efforts to accelerate the quality and impact of the Milken Institute School of Public Health, to proactively and effectively find cures for diseases, to enhance human health globally and to further the education of finance leaders in developing countries. He will receive a Doctor of Science at the ceremony.

President Mark S. Wrighton will also award the President’s Medal, the highest honor GW’s president can bestow, to three GW faculty members whose distinguished scholarship has been influential in their fields: Mary Ellsberg, founding director of the Global Women’s Institute; Walter Reich, Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Professor of International Affairs; and Frank Sesno, professor and director of strategic initiatives in the School of Media and Public Affairs.

“Through impressive careers, philanthropy and scholarship, this year’s honorees have each had a transformational impact on our community, our nation and the world,” Wrighton said. “I am thrilled to recognize their many accomplishments alongside the GW community during this celebratory time of year.”

The university previously announced that Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and this year’s Commencement speaker, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws.