MSFS Tropaia 2016

by Kristen Voorhees, MSFS Communications and Events Coordinator

At the conclusion of the academic year, the Master of Science in Foreign Service program celebrated the commencement of the class of 2016 students through the historic tradition of Tropaia.

Tropaia, a Greek word referring to a monument constructed to commemorate military victory, is a ceremony to recognize and celebrate the hard work and high achievement of the graduating class. 

Of the 105 members of this year’s graduating MSFS class, 33 students earned Academic Excellence, while 16 received Distinction on their oral examinations. Several students earned certificates in addition to their MSFS degree: 17 in International Business Diplomacy; 12 in Diplomatic Studies; 10 in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies; 4 in Africa Studies; 2 in Asian Studies; 2 in Arab Studies; and 2 in Eurasian, Russian and Eastern European Studies. 

Distinguished Speakers

This year’s ceremony featured a Keynote Address from his Excellency Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia, and the Alumna Address from Ms. Kelly Coffey, CEO of J.P. Morgan’s U.S. Private Bank and MSFS ’89.

MSFS ’16 Ara Tai Rakena was elected as the student speaker to represent his class at Tropaia. Tai Rakena emphasized the importance of the MSFS core value of service, and how his students should use this value to excel in their futures. “Seek the privilege of serving, not because of what you think you can offer, but because of how much you know you have already been given,” he remarked. The MSFS program recognizes this dedication to service in every student, as it prepares them for successful careers in the international community.

Click here to watch the entire Tropaia ceremony.