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23 Graduates Celebrated in Fall 2023 Midyear Commencement


Friends and family traveled from near and far to join faculty staff and staff in celebrating SLU-Madrid's most recent alumni and their academic achievements.

The Madrid Campus' geographic and cultural diversity shows even in its smaller, more intimate graduation ceremonies. Fall 2023 graduates are from nine countries and 11 U.S. states.

American students represented California, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. Two graduates are from both California and Virginia. Other than the United States, students also come from Algeria, Ecuador, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, Nicaragua, Serbia and Spain.

Audience members are shown from the back as a speaker in graduation regalia stands at a lectern. Additional people in graduation regalia sit behind the speaker on the podium.

Jijón Burey addressing audience at Midyear Commencement Ceremony. Photo by Ángel García.

Economics major José Antonio Jijón Burey addressed the graduates with a personal and powerful speech. He talked about the hardship and loss he faced during the COVID-19 pandemic while at home in Ecuador. He thanked his mother for her support.

"Class of 2023, as you step into the real world today, never lose hope, never despair, and always fight with that suitcase full of dreams," he said.

Sofia Briceño, a communication major from Virginia, reflected on the class's resilience in Spanish. As she congratulated classmates, she wished for everyone to positively impact the world.

Chosen by students as the faculty speaker, Renzo Llorente, Ph.D. (Philosophy), emphasized the challenging times students overcame throughout their studies.

Over half of fall 2023 graduates earned bachelor of arts degrees. One Spanish master's student graduated.

The top three majors among graduates this term are political science, international business and communication.

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