A woman with short, dark hair speaks at a wooden podium. She wears academic regalia.
News Story

Yamiche Alcindor (C’09) Delivers 2023 College of Arts & Sciences Commencement Address

Award-winning journalist Yamiche Alcindor (C’09) delivered the commencement address to the Georgetown University College of Arts & Sciences Class of 2023. 

“My message to you today is simple: Cherish your relationships. Let your passions lead you to a life of purpose and service. And, be guided by hope and not fear,” Alcindor said to the assembled graduates. 

Alcindor is the Washington correspondent for NBC News. She most recently worked as the White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour, where she covered the administrations of President Biden and President Trump. Previously, Alcindor covered national politics for The New York Times and breaking news for USA Today

A woman with short dark hair is presented with an academic hood for an honorary degree.

President Jack DeGioia and Dean Rosario Ceballo help Alcindor with her hood.

David Edelstein, vice dean of faculty and interdisciplinary strategy for the College of Arts & Sciences, read the citation for Alcindor’s honorary degree. 

“Today, Georgetown University honors Yamiche Alcinodr for her tireless pursuit of truth and facts in an age of disinformation, for her persistent journalistic integrity in the face of hostility and harassment and for her unrelenting dedication to always pressing forward,” said Edelstein. 

Throughout her career, Alcindor has been recognized for her unflinching coverage of some of America’s most pressing issues. 

“For steadfastly telling uncomfortable truths, for providing a resonant voice for the voiceless and for exemplifying the very best values instilled by a Georgetown education, Georgetown confers upon Yamiche Alcindor, a daughter of immigrants and a daughter of this proud university and the College of Arts & Sciences, the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters,” said Edelstein.

An alumna of Georgetown herself, Alcindor reminisced on her time on the Hilltop and even brought a group of her college friends with her to commencement. 

“I will always remember giving one of my best friends a card our freshman year that read, ‘let’s become old ladies together,” said Alcindor. “And guess what? I still have that same goal and she is right here with me today.”

Alcindor spoke to the value of a degree from the College of Arts & Sciences. 

“I use my college degree – my government, English and African American studies degree – every day as a journalist as I cover politics, race, social justice and the future of democracy,” said Alcindor. “Be proud. You took classes that taught you about the importance of language, of dialogue and of communication. And you learned about the art of war, studied history and are graduating with a base of knowledge and of truth that will help you wherever you go next.”

Cognizant of the trials and tribulations ahead of the assembled graduates, Alcindor encouraged the Class of 2023 to anticipate and be ready for the potholes on the road ahead. 

“Graduates don’t be afraid to work through it: Be vulnerable with those you trust. Hold onto your vision and your passions no matter what,” said Alcindor. “And know that you can succeed, you can live out your dreams when you stay the course.”

Alcindor was the recipient of RTDNA’s John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award, IWMF’s Gwen Ifill Award and the White House Correspondents’ Association’s Aldo Beckman Award for Overall Excellence in White House Coverage. Alcindor is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and was named the organization’s 2020 Journalist of the Year.

The College of Arts & Sciences celebrated 903 total graduates, with 733 earning a Bachelor of Arts degree and 170 earning a Bachelor of Science degree. 

-by Hayden Frye (C’17)