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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Generations of Colonials celebrate graduation with finger sandwiches and macarons

Karen White, interim associate vice president for alumni relations and development, greeted legacy families and graduating seniors at an event Friday. Leah Edwards | Hatchet Photographer
Karen White, interim associate vice president for alumni relations and development, greeted legacy families and graduating seniors at an event Friday. Leah Edwards | Hatchet Photographer
A subset of the roughly 80 graduating students from legacy families and their parents, grandparents and siblings mingled in Alumni House Friday afternoon at the Legacy Family Commencement Reception.

The attendees sipped champagne and snacked on sesame-crusted finger sandwiches and melon ball flowers sprouted up on toothpicks from beds of wheat grass while reflecting on their past and current connections to the University.

1. A final pop quiz

After guests wandered, snacked and took pictures for about 45 minutes, Interim Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations and Development Karen White took the podium to congratulate the almost-graduates and plug the services the Alumni Association will begin to offer them in a few short days.

But she riffed on the undergraduate experience with a pop quiz, stating her title and asking the audience to correct what was wrong about it.

“I am Karen White. I am the interim associate vice president of alumni relations. The difference is: It’s of your George Washington University, not just the George Washington University,” White said. “You need to understand that you are just commencing your relationship with the George Washington University, as is clear by all the people in the room here who have these long and deep relationships with us.”

2. An alumnus and parent urges passion

White then handed off the microphone to Daniel Serota, a graduate of the School of Business in 1986 and the father of Stephen Serota, who will graduate on Sunday from the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

Daniel Serota joked about how much the application process has changed since he came to GW in 1982 and reminisced about finding his best friend through the University’s random roommate pairing.

“You had the roommate sheets and I wrote in ‘I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I go to bed early and I do my homework,'” he said. “I didn’t smoke. But anyways, they matched me up to my closest friend to this day.”

Daniel Serota spoke about how, even though he studied business and went into real estate after college to “pay the rent,” his true passion was politics and he eventually made his way back into public service. He is now the mayor of Brookville, N.Y.

“Follow your passion. Never, ever give up on what you folks want to do. Never, ever. And grab it when it comes along, and maybe one day you’ll be president and not a mayor,” Daniel Serota said. “And by the way, please stay involved in the college. I have and it’s a great, great place, and it’s only gotten better.”

3. A family connection

The younger Serota, sitting front and center in front of the podium at a table full of family members, clapped as his father left the podium.

After his father spoke, he said he was excited for graduation and just enjoying the extra time to spend with family. He noted that he was at least somewhat following in his father’s footsteps as a business minor.

“I love having my dad here. My little brother is going to college in two years. Hopefully he’ll come here and be a Colonial. I love having the whole family here. Hearing my dad speak is awesome, especially since what he said rings true,” Stephen Serota said.

Like these photos? You can purchase your personal photo from this graduation ceremony online at: www.hatchetphotos.com

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