Posted on

Deree Celebrates the Undergraduate Class of 2024

On Saturday, June 29, the Aghia Paraskevi campus buzzed with excitement as the Deree Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony celebrated the remarkable achievements of the Class of 2024. The 358 graduates from 28 countries faced an unprecedented challenge as first-year students when their anticipated campus life was displaced by virtual learning due to the global pandemic. Upon their return to physical classrooms, they embraced their campus life with even more excitement and had a profound appreciation for face-to-face interactions.

Faculty, family members, and friends witnessed first-hand the resilience and dedication of these graduates, who thrived and succeeded despite the initial challenges brought on by the pandemic. This ceremony not only marked the conclusion of their rigorous academic journeys but also the beginning of promising futures.

In his welcoming address, President David G. Horner highlighted the diverse and international nature of the Deree student body and expressed gratitude for their contributions to the Deree community.

Graduates, we are so very, very proud of you! We congratulate you on achieving this hard-earned degree, and we know you will use the knowledge, skills and experience you gained in your studies here not only to pursue your own good but to contribute to the good of others. At this moment, as our graduates are surrounded by family and friends bursting with pride, we are also mindful that our graduates did not do all that they have done alone. And so, we recognize and welcome tonight all those who are here in person or in spirit who represent the supporting casts of our graduates. Congratulations to you as well and thank you!

Anna Maria Dimitropoulou, a cinema studies graduate, delivered the student address. She drew parallels between life and a multifaceted movie filled with various genres—from comedy to drama. She spoke to the resilience of her fellow graduates, each with their unique story of personal transformation, health challenges, or finding love and friendship in their academic journey.

I am filled with hope for what lies ahead. Here, in Deree – The American College of Greece, we found ourselves…and we found each other. And so, let us embark on our futures and make a meaningful impact. We are all characters of a much greater movie. And this movie needs individuals committed to making this story worthwhile.

A longstanding feature of the proud tradition of Commencement ceremonies is the awarding of honorary degrees. The 2024 Commencement Book lists 97 past distinguished recipients who are leaders in their respective fields, including academia, arts, politics, and philanthropy. This year, the prestigious Doctorate of Deree – The American College of Greece was conferred upon a trio of remarkable individuals noted for their steadfast commitment and profound impact on society: Paul Alivisatos, President of the University of Chicago; Veronica Antetokounmpo, philanthropist and Director of “The Charles Antetokounmpo Family Foundation”; and Andrew Liveris, former Chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical Company. These individuals, like past recipients, exemplify the high standards of personal and professional accomplishment and social contribution to which The American College of Greece is committed.

The atmosphere was electric as the ceremony reached its pinnacle during the conferral of degrees. Each graduate’s name was called, turning a moment of personal triumph into a public celebration as they crossed the stage to receive their Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. The ceremony was punctuated by the presentation of the Undergraduate Academic Achievement Award and the Open University Undergraduate Achievement Award, recognizing students who not only met but soared beyond the rigorous academic standards set by Deree.

As the tassels were turned and the caps flew high, the graduates of the Deree Class of 2024 officially stepped into the expansive and esteemed ranks of the nearly 67,000 alumni scattered across Greece and the globe. With a mixture of pride and anticipation, the college extends its heartfelt congratulations to its newest graduates, wishing them success as they venture forth.