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'Tis the (Commencement) Season

It has been a busy commencement season for Washington and Lee alumni. At least two spoke at commencement exercises, while the University also was well represented in the graduating class of one of the nation’s premier law schools.

In Monterey, Calif., Grace Ewura-Esi Andrews, of the Class of 2009, told her fellow graduates at the Monterey Institute of International Studies to be unafraid to “embrace failure,” and to have the courage to try new things and learn from their mistakes. She received an M.A. in public administration. During her studies at Monterey, Grace served as a “Frontier Market Scout” and managed the Village Capital entrepreneur support program in Brazil. In that role, she convened and led a group of 11 entrepreneurs directly addressing poverty.

On the other side of the continent, in Fredericksburg, Va., Shawn Boyer, of the Law Class of 1997, addressed the graduate commencement ceremony at the University of Mary Washington and told the graduates that they need “an operating plan as a person. It will influence how you are going to interact with others.” Shawn is the founder of SnagAJob.com, the nation’s largest online community of hourly workers. He was the 2008 National Small Business Person of the Year.

In New Haven, Conn., no fewer than three Washington and Lee alumni received their juris doctor degrees from the Yale Law School: Adam Hockensmith and  Alice Shih, both of the Class of 2008, and Dima Slavin of the Class of 2009. W&L philosophy professor James Mahon, who has been on a sabbatical leave at Yale this year, attended the ceremony and observed of the three W&L grads: “Given that there are only 222 students who received J.D. degrees from Yale Law School in the Class of 2012, that’s a ridiculously high number.”

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