Monday, 28 May 2012

SAIS Bologna commencement - Part I

SAIS Bologna honored its students on Saturday with an end-of-the-year ceremony that mixed humor with gravitas.

Alexis Piet with her
 crown of laurel leaves
The "commencement" ceremony is a U.S. academic tradition marking the end of one's studies, hence the beginning of a new chapter in a graduate's life. Most of this year's students will be at SAIS DC next year, but those receiving either their MAIA or MIPP degree were given crowns of laurel leaves, in the Italian academic tradition.

Tomorrow we plan to publish a gallery of photographs of the day. Today we feature two of the speeches delivered to the nearly 200 students who attended SAIS Bologna in 2011-12 and the more than 160 guests who came to the ceremony.

Graham Norwood
Graham Norwood, president of the Student Government Association, delivered the student address and saluted his fellow classmates, whom he called "my path to enlightenment".

You can read Norwood's speech here.

Roberto Toscano, a SAIS Bologna and SAIS DC alumnus, delivered the main speech. Toscano is a former Italian ambassador to both India and Iran, and served also in the former Soviet Union and Chile.
Roberto Toscano

The official title of Toscano's talk was "40 Years of Diplomacy: a Profession, a Life". But he offered a substitute title in the speech itself: "To a Young Generation Suspended Between Discouragement and Hope -- With Apologies".

You can read Ambassador Toscano's speech here.

Nelson Graves