U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff named Emory University 2021 Class Day speaker

Emory Report | April 20, 2021

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U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff has been named keynote speaker for Emory's Class Day, a student-organized event for students receiving bachelor's degrees at this year's Commencement. Photo courtesy of U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff.

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U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff has been named keynote speaker for Emory University’s Class Day, a student-organized event for students receiving bachelor’s degrees at this year’s Commencement.

The program will be held virtually Thursday, May 13, at 6:30 p.m. on the Emory Commencement website.

“The Class Day committee is thrilled to welcome Sen. Jon Ossoff to campus for Class Day 2021,” says Liz Greene, a senior political science and media studies major from Charlotte, North Carolina. “During the landmark 2021 Georgia Senate run-offs, Emory students practiced a high level of civic engagement through campaigning, activism and voter drives. Ossoff’s belief in young people as change makers is especially relevant as members of the Class of 2021 leave Emory and go on to impact new communities. We’re incredibly excited to hear his wisdom and advice to the parting class.”

Born and raised in Atlanta, Ossoff is the senior United States senator from Georgia. Prior to his election to the Senate, Ossoff was CEO of a company that investigates official corruption, organized crime and war crimes for international news organizations.

Ossoff also previously worked as a national security aide in Congress and as an investigative journalist. He was mentored by the late civil rights legend Congressman John Lewis, a longtime friend and supporter of Emory himself.

In his current role as senator, Ossoff serves on several committees, including as chair of the Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Ossoff earned an undergraduate degree in foreign service from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a master’s degree in international political economy from the London School of Economics.

In addition to Ossoff’s remarks, Class Day also will feature a presentation of the Boisfeuillet Jones Medals, along with other senior awards. Students invite the Class Day keynote speaker to share wisdom, humor and advice as they embark on careers in government, business, public service, health care, the arts, technology and beyond.

Past Class Day speakers have included Stacey Abrams, Chelsea Handler, Adam Richman, Kenneth Cole, Mia Farrow, Peyton Manning, Ben & Jerry, Michael Sam and Ryan Gravel.   

Emory’s 176th Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for May 14-16, with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, as keynote speaker for the Emory College of Arts and Sciences. Fauci’s address will be livestreamed for the entire Emory community.