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Deree Commencement 2022: Celebrating Hope, Resilience & Achievement

As fireworks lit up the night sky of Agia Paraskevi above the ACG Stadium on Saturday, June 25, hundreds of new ACG graduates tossed their caps in the air and a roar of applause arose from the newly minted alumni, their family and friends who gathered for the 2022 Deree Commencement Ceremony.

The most anticipated pageant of celebration, Deree Commencement, concluded with great success! Members of the ACG community, as well as distinguished guests, 310 undergraduate and 108 graduate students from 22 countries worldwide, were cheered for their hard work, perseverance, determination and outstanding performance that led them to this pivotal moment in college life, Graduation Day!

President David G. Horner gave the welcoming address and praised the graduates’ determination, adaptability and self-discipline:

Graduates, we are so very, very proud of you! With the support of the College’s faculty and staff, you have remained focused on your goals. You have adapted to unanticipated and unprecedented conditions. You have taken what life has brought you, and although I know it has not been easy, you exercised the creativity and the perseverance required to arrive at this moment. In so doing, you have demonstrated that you are truly ready for whatever the future may bring.”

The new US Ambassador to Greece, George James Tsunis, addressed the graduates and brought a greeting on behalf of the people of the United States. We wish Ambassador Tsunis an excellent tenure as we work to pursue his agenda of prioritizing education and in his service to the people of Greece and this important region of the world.

This year’s honorary Doctorate of Deree – The American College of Greece was awarded to Peter and Marian Wright Edelman for their contribution to advocating for disadvantaged Americans and advancing social justice. Marian Wright Edelman, one of the most honored and decorated women in the United States, is the founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), a nonprofit organization based in Washington DC that focuses on child advocacy and research. As the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law and Public Policy at the Georgetown University Law Center since 1982, Peter Edelman’s brilliant career has focused on the fields of poverty, welfare, juvenile justice and constitutional law. Our 2022 Honoris Causa recipients exemplify the high standards of personal and professional accomplishment and social contribution to which ACG is committed and they join 91 men and women who have achieved the highest levels of recognition in their respective fields.

Maria-Eleni Kalyva graduating with a major in Entrepreneurship Management and a minor in Finance, delivered the Student Address to her fellow graduates. In her inspirational speech, Maria-Eleni encouraged her peers to give back and be the best in diversity, excellence and innovation, values they have attained at Deree.

“Congratulations Class of 2022, we did it. It has not been an easy ride. We have gone through our fair share of global issues. We faced financial crises, a global pandemic and when we thought we had started to recover, the world was struck with another war, one that felt closer to home. However, the question is not how many crises we have lived and will live through but how we manage to endure them. The values Deree has taught us seem to contradict the gloomy reality we face, but they ARE the solution to overcoming it. We were taught to strive for excellence and, most importantly, to build a strong community.”

Excitement alternated with praise at the closing of the ceremony as each graduate was individually recognized at the conferral of the degrees of Master of Arts, Master of Science, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science.

The graduates join the over 62,000 ACG Alumni in Greece and worldwide. The ACG community congratulates the Deree Class of 2022 and wishes them the best of luck for their journey ahead!