SCS Celebrates the Class of 2024 at Commencement

Dean Kelly Otter, Ph.D., Norah O’Donnell, and President John J. DeGioia
From left to right: Dean Kelly Otter, Ph.D., Norah O’Donnell (C’95, G’03), and President John J. DeGioia, Ph.D.

On Thursday, May 16, the School of Continuing Studies honored the achievements of 1,112 graduates at its 2024 Commencement Ceremony. The celebration was joined by the School’s Commencement Speaker, Norah O’Donnell (C’95, G’03), managing editor and anchor of “CBS Evening News”—and a double Hoya herself.

Grads By the Numbers 

Graduates celebrating Commencement
Graduates celebrating Commencement on Thursday, May 16.

Throughout Commencement weekend, Georgetown awarded degrees to 6,252 students, which included 1,821 undergraduate and 4,431 graduate students.

In terms of SCS, the School conferred 1,063 Master of Professional Studies degrees; 20 Executive Master of Professional Studies degrees; eight Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degrees; six Doctor of Liberal Studies degrees; and 15 Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies degrees.

SCS is also proud to have one of the largest populations of military-connected students across the University. This year, 176 military-connected students graduated, which is 16 percent of the graduating student body at SCS.

Georgetown’s Class of 2024 includes students from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and 130 countries. Georgetown currently enrolls more than 7,000 undergraduate and 10,000 graduate students across all 10 of its schools.

Transforming Uncertainty Into Motivation

Norah O’Donnell
Norah O’Donnell, managing editor and anchor of CBS Evening News, delivers 2024 Commencement Address.

O’Donnell, who is also an alumna of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, delivered an inspiring address to the SCS Class of 2024 and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Throughout her speech, she reflected on her comprehensive professional journey and the pivotal role Georgetown played in her success. “I wouldn’t be who I am today without Georgetown University,” she said.

Beginning her undergraduate studies in 1991, O’Donnell recounted her initial feelings of self-doubt upon entering the Hilltop as a freshman from Texas. During her speech, she expressed gratitude for the humbling experience, which taught her to transform uncertainty into motivation—a lesson that has served her well throughout her career ever since. 

“Turn that fear into fuel, and that doubt into determination,” she advised.

O’Donnell emphasized three essential components for success: persistence, integrity, and the quality of one's relationships, both professional and personal. “The quality of your life is built on the quality of your relationships—that’s my thesis for a well-lived life,” she said.

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