Ambassador Melanne Verveer Delivers Remarks at Agnes Scott’s 122nd Commencement

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Agnes Scott College held its 122nd Commencement May 14, featuring remarks delivered by President Barack Obama’s Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer.
Ambassador Melanne Verveer
Agnes Scott’s Class of 2011 had 217 proud graduates, ranging in age from 19 to 53 and hailing from 29 states and nine countries.

Ambassador Verveer remarked on the connection between her mission as ambassador of global women’s issues and that of Agnes Scott and its graduates.

“I travel the world in pursuit of justice and equality for women and you prepare young women, right here in Decatur, to go out in the world and do the same,” Ambassador Verveer said.

“We can’t possibly tackle the challenges of our times unless women are participating at all levels of society. It is a simple fact that no country can get ahead if it leaves half of its people behind,” she said.

President Obama created the position of ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues in 2009 to reflect the importance of women’s issues to his administration. As the first director of the Department of State’s Office on Global Women’s Issues, Ambassador Verveer coordinates foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women around the world.

Ambassador Verveer also was presented with an honorary degree from the college in recognition for her work to promote women’s rights worldwide.

“Ambassador Verveer exemplifies qualities we strive to cultivate in our graduates – thoughtful and creative leadership, a commitment to women’s rights and social justice and effective engagement with global challenges. She shows us what it means to be a trailblazer for things that matter,” said Elizabeth Kiss, president of Agnes Scott.

Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location—offering myriad social, cultural and experiential learning opportunities. This highly selective liberal arts college is known for its diverse and dynamic intellectual community. Through SUMMIT, it provides every student, regardless of major, with an individualized course of study and co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and understanding of complex global dynamics.