Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Deliver October Commencement Keynote Address

Public health leader Anthony Fauci, faculty members Cindy Liu and Andrew Maurano will be awarded the President’s Medal.

August 12, 2021

Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will deliver the keynote address at the Commencement celebration of the classes of 2020 and 2021.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), an attorney and former George Washington University student, will deliver the keynote address at the Commencement celebration of the classes of 2020 and 2021 on Oct. 2. 

Sen. Warren, who attended GW from 1966 to 1968, is one of GW's Monumental Alumni and an advocate for her constituents in the state of Massachusetts as well as for all Americans. Before becoming the first woman ever elected to the Senate from the Bay State, Sen. Warren served as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. She is credited with the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Sen. Warren will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service at the ceremony.

“As a distinguished senator who has spent her career serving others, one of our GW community’s most requested speakers, and a Monumental Alumna, Senator Warren will be an inspiration to the classes of 2020 and 2021 at this critical time in history,” President Thomas LeBlanc said. 


Dr. LeBlanc will also award the GW President’s Medal, the highest honor the university’s president can bestow, to three individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the university’s and country’s pandemic response: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Cindy Liu, a Milken Institute School of Public Health associate professor who led the development of the university’s COVID-19 testing laboratory; and Andrew Maurano, an associate clinical professor of emergency medicine who managed the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to the D.C. community. Dr. Fauci previously received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from GW in 2015.

“I am thrilled that during this historic in-person event we will have the privilege of honoring three heroes of the pandemic, including Dr. Fauci and two of our very own university community members, Professors Cindy Liu and Andrew Maurano,” Dr. LeBlanc said. “They represent the many scientists and frontline workers who have led us through the most challenging days of the pandemic.”

The university held virtual ceremonies to confer degrees for the classes of 2020 and 2021. The in-person celebration in October will allow the classes to mark their achievements with friends, family and the GW community through the university’s long-standing tradition of a celebration on the National Mall. Board of Trustees Chair Emeritus Nelson Carbonell Jr., B.S. ’85, who received his honorary Doctor of Public Service in May, also will be recognized in person at the October event. Lonnie G. Bunch III, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and Commencement speaker at GW’s May virtual celebration, will receive his honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at a later date. 

This week, the university announced the full GW Centuries Celebration Weekend schedule and opened registration for all events, including Commencement. The registration deadline for Commencement is Aug. 31.


Register Now