The University announced Monday that senior Gabriel Felder was chosen as the student commencement speaker for the Class of 2014 last Friday. The Political Communication major was chosen from a field of 10 finalists and 60 overall applicants for the coveted honor.
Felder, who is from Stamford, Connecticut, will now join Commencement Speaker José Andrés in addressing the Class of 2014, their families, and friends on the National Mall on Sunday, May 18th.
According to a media release from the University, Felder won over the panel of judges, made up of students, faculty, and staff, with his positive attitude and message of gratitude mixed-in with humor.
“Over the last few months I had been reflecting a lot on my time here at GWU and when time came around to apply, I thought I had a story that, in one extreme case, nicely summarized a sentiment I think every GW student feels as they exit,” said Felder. “I’m hoping my speech can just provide a nice feeling of nachas (pride) for the achievement and gratitude for the opportunity to be educated and be counted as a GW colonial.”
The competition for student commencement speaker was made-up of undergraduate and graduate students.
Felder’s speech will start out telling the story of a conversation Felder had with his father during the summer before his freshman year. The conversation became even more important to Felder after his father passed away a few months later.
Felder plans on joining Teach for America in New York this Fall. During his time at GW, Felder has been actively involved with the Jewish Student Association, including serving as its President during the 2012-2013 academic year.