Bob Whelan announced that the Class of 2023 commencement speaker was a Dragon who is widely recognized as one of the most consequential people in Washington to seniors and families last week. Elizabeth MacDonough ‘84, will address the graduating class in June, but first, she wanted to spend some time with our seniors to learn more about their world and experiences at GFA.
In her role as Senate Parliamentarian since 2012, MacDonough garners deep respect from senators and staff on both sides of the aisle as she advises the Senate on the interpretation of rules and procedure in her non-partisan capacity. Yet, on Friday she took on the role of the listener after requesting time to “get to know” the seniors she will be speaking “to, not at” during Commencement.
About a third of the graduating class had the opportunity to sit in small groups with their speaker, sharing their goals for their next chapters, what courses inspired them the most, and what they hope to accomplish in the next four years. She shared stories about her time at GFA and connected with seniors on all that has changed and all that has stayed the same.
GFA’s Constitutional Law class was treated to an hour of conversation with the person arguably most knowledgeable on the subject – in the country. MacDonough shared her experience working in an increasingly transient Senate, her first-hand account of the events of January 6th, and how GFA informed her career to a rapt audience.
MacDonough’s professional experience speaks for itself but it is her desire to engage with the Class of 2023 that spoke volumes to our community on Friday.