Wednesday, June 1, 2022
students standing in front of projector that says International Student Graduation
Some of the students who participated in the International Student Affinity Graduation.

Dear all,

The June Dean’s Message is always one of my favorites because it allows us to celebrate May graduation. International Programs was especially honored to co-sponsor the International Student Affinity Graduation on May 12. IP, along with our partners Multicultural & International Student Support & Engagement (MISSE) and the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DDEI), held an in-person ceremony in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol. Our first International Student Affinity Graduation ceremony was held last year online. And while the 2021 ceremony was dignified and very well attended, seeing students and their families and friends from all over the globe at the Old Capitol added special meaning to an event dedicated to recognizing the achievements and contributions of our international students. 

The 2022 ceremony was the first of its kind not only because it was in person, but because it featured numerous awards acknowledging international students as well as the faculty and staff who helped guide them through their time at Iowa. Categories for the awards included Civic Engagement, Leadership, Academics & Scholarship, Community Advocacy, as well as Faculty and Staff Recognition. The ceremony ran flawlessly, and was highlighted by speeches, performances, and the University of Iowa Land Acknowledgement.

Special thanks go to IP’s own Shuhui Lin who organized the event and chaired the graduation planning committee. We are also grateful to Professor Cynthia Chou, director of the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, who delivered the commencement address. Warm appreciation is also extended to Onyeche Oche, who served as Master of Ceremonies, to Anna Chen and Ramel Price for their wonderful piano and violin performance, as well as to Daniel Vorwerk of our Communications and Constituent Relations staff who read graduate names and provided technical assistance. 

IP’s International Student Affinity Graduation, as well as the entirety of the UI’s multiple graduation ceremonies, signal Iowa’s continued rebound from the pandemic. The atmosphere on campus was marked by a sense of optimism best symbolized by the flags of over 100 countries mounted on the IMU footbridge. These flags represent the countries from which our international students and scholars hail. The flags come out twice a year; at Homecoming in the fall and at May graduation. This tradition, while relatively new, has quickly become a campus favorite, as it reinforces the UI’s pride as a global institution of higher learning that welcomes people from everywhere in the world. 

The ceremony at the Old Capitol was tremendous, but IP’s participation in graduation week did not stop there. I had the privilege of reading names at the doctoral hooding ceremony the morning of May 13, while Sarolta Petersen and Katie Ron of our Communications & Constituent Relations team read names of Masters graduates that evening. Similarly, IP again translated select graduation ceremonies into three languages. IP is immensely proud to play such a large role in the culmination of our students’ tenure at Iowa. Please join me in saluting the talent, perseverance, and determination that characterizes the marvelous Class of 2022!

With all best wishes,

Russ Ganim signature