Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla (G’89) urged students to nurture their values in her keynote address to the Class of 2011 during SFS undergraduate commencement ceremonies May 21.
President Chinchilla spoke about some of her administration’s accomplishments in Costa Rica, including broadened internet access and her work on climate change. Costa Rica is one of the oldest democracies in its region of the world, and she attributed its success to three things. “I come from a country that holds dear this triad of values: freedom, solidarity and peace,” Chinchilla said.
She continued that freedom depends on respect for the freedom of others and that we must live at peace with ourselves to realize our full potential.
Chinchilla mentioned that conservation efforts in Costa Rica started about 40 years ago with reforestation. She said hopes to make Costa Rica carbon-neutral in the next decade. “Our solidarity with future generations depends on our solidarity with nature,” she said.
The Georgetown Public Policy Institute graduate was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Erick Langer, a professor and director of the Center for Latin American Studies, read the honorary degree citation. “Today, in recognizing Laura Chinchilla Miranda, the first woman to be president of Costa Rica, Georgetown University honors a life dedicated to building democracy and community,” he said.
Chinchilla’s career in public service includes work as a consultant on judicial and public security reform in Latin America and Africa on behalf of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.N. Development Program and the Inter-American Development Bank. Chinchilla concluded by saying, “It is my fondest hope that you find the freedom to choose your path, the solidarity of your loved ones to pursue it and the peace that comes with knowing that you are well on your way.”
“I thought it was a beautiful ceremony,” Sylmarie Trujillo (F ’11) said after commencement.
“It was very well-done,” Daniel Lim (F ’11) added in regard to the entire commencement. “The procession went very smoothly,” he added.
A total of 351 students in earned the Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree at Georgetown’s Washington campus. Another 47 earned the BSFS degree at SFS-Qatar, bringing the size of the graduating class to 398. The undergraduate and graduate SFS ceremonies concluded a week of celebrations that also included senior convocation, the senior ball and BSFS and MSFS Tropaia ceremonies.
Read more about undergraduate Commencement and the BSFS and MSFS Tropaia events.
Jen Lennon | June 2011
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