Reuben E. Brigety II, dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University, delivered the commencement address to graduates of the College of Arts & Letters at Old Dominion University’s 128th commencement exercises earlier this month in Norfolk, Va.
Old Dominion University President John R. Broderick presented Brigety with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters while introducing him as “an outstanding leader” whose vision and experience earned the Elliot School of International Affairs its stellar reputation. Brigety’s address touched on the value of education and the importance of courage, which both played key roles in his career.
Brigety shared a story about traveling to Kenya in 2010 to visit Dadaab, one of the largest refugee camps in the world at the time. He said he was fascinated with a woman who said she walked 1,000 miles on foot to find a refugee camp. He asked the woman what he could do for her and she simply replied, “Help me find a way to provide an education for my children.” “Even she knew the power of education.”