Friday, June 2, 2023
students wearing graduation regalia taking selfie at graduation celebration
Graduates at the International Student Graduation Celebration

Dear all, 

In many respects, the months of May and June are my favorite of the year because this is the moment when we celebrate the accomplishments of our recent graduates. In particular, I would like to draw your attention to the International Student Graduation Celebration held on May 11. This is the third year International Programs has co-sponsored the celebration with the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DDEI) and International Student Support and Engagement (ISSE). The event has become so popular that we needed to move the ceremony from its original location in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol to the ballroom of the appropriately named Graduate Hotel in Iowa City. Attendance was excellent, and the event featured student and faculty speakers and awards, musical entertainment, and a closing reception where students, their friends, and families could mingle and offer congratulations. I would like to personally thank the organizing committee, in particular IP’s Shuhui Lin and Suyun Channon, for their superb planning and preparation. Similarly warmest gratitude goes to the numerous UI colleges and service units who generously supported this year’s event. We are deeply appreciative of everyone’s efforts to ensure the success and recognition of our campus international community. 

The graduation celebration was the largest and most popular to date, but we will continue our efforts to improve the event and make it a wholly enjoyable experience. To that end, the organizing committee is seeking inspiration from graduation celebrations from all over the world. These events include not only speeches, awards, and the requisite proceeding across the stage, but also skits, student videos and remembrances, games for children, and many different varieties of cuisine. In the coming years, the plan is to integrate these ideas and activities into our celebration and render it truly global in structure and appeal. 

As we celebrate the achievements of our international graduates, we work constantly to bring new international students and scholars to the university. To that end, I spent nearly a week in London with Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Brent Gage at the BMI Global Scholarship Forum. The purpose of the forum was to make connections with foreign ministries and scholarship organizations across the world to increase international student recruitment in emerging markets. Brent and I were able to conduct substantive conversations with many scholarship providers and we are confident these conversations will lead to better opportunities for global Hawkeyes to enroll at Iowa.

Over the past three years, IP has made it a priority to establish a strong working relationship with the Office of Admissions, and we are seeing the benefits of this partnership in higher numbers of international undergraduate students for this coming fall. Indeed, the more international students we attract to Iowa, the more we will be able to recognize at our year end celebration! 

Thanks, as always, for your support.  


Russ Ganim signature



International Programs (IP) at the University of Iowa (UI) is committed to enriching the global experience of UI students, faculty, staff, and the general public by leading efforts to promote internationally oriented teaching, research, creative work, and community engagement.  IP provides support for international students and scholars, administers scholarships and assistance for students who study, intern, or do research abroad, and provides funding opportunities and grant-writing assistance for faculty engaged in international research. IP shares their stories through various media, and by hosting multiple public engagement activities each year.