SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell to deliver class of 2021 commencement address


Daily file photo by Caty Buchaniec

The class of 2021 will partake in convocation ceremonies hosted by each Northwestern school between June 12 and 14.

Yunkyo Kim, Campus Editor

SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell (McCormick ‘86, ‘88) will address the class of 2021 at a commencement ceremony to be held June 14, according to a Thursday news release.

Shotwell, a member of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees, will also be awarded with an honorary degree, along with #MeToo founder and activist Tarana Burke, medical researcher and Pfizer board member Helen Hobbs, and George R.R. Martin (Medill ‘70, ‘71), author of the popular “Game of Thrones” book series and producer of its HBO adaptation.

“The class of 2021 should be incredibly proud of what they have accomplished, particularly in light of the many challenges they faced over this last year,” Shotwell said in the release. “I am honored to deliver this year’s commencement address and I look forward to celebrating the graduates and getting them excited for the future.”

The graduating class members will partake in convocation ceremonies hosted by each NU school between June 12 and 14 and will be able to walk across the stage at Ryan Field and the Ryan Fieldhouse. Additionally, the ceremonies will be livestreamed.

The University also announced it invited the class of 2020 to a separate in-person commencement, after the class’ graduation ceremonies were converted to a virtual format following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Class of 2020 alumni will be able to walk across Ryan Field. However, based on a survey conducted by the University, attendance is expected to be below current statewide occupancy limits.

University President Morton Schapiro said in the release that he was looking forward to seeing students, their guests and family members in-person.

“It’s a thrill to be able to welcome graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021 for a memorable weekend, one that will allow for as much traditional pomp and circumstance as possible while ensuring safety in accordance with the latest public health guidance,” Schapiro said in the release.

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