Kerry Washington is the baddest. The “Scandal” starlet has been tapped to deliver the commencement address at George Washington University. She won’t transform into Olivia Pope and save the students from unavoidable quarter-life crises, but the 1998 GWU alumna will be receiving an honorary degree from her alma mater.
The Bronx native earned two bachelors’ degrees in anthropology and sociology while balancing a resident assistant position and starring roles in several plays from GWU’s Department of Theatre and Dance. She performed in plays and productions every semester at GWU, which was impressive to her former professors.
“Even when she was a freshman, she was very serious in rehearsal hall,” George Washington Professor Leslie Jacobson told ABC 7 in D.C. “She had a lot of ability and tremendous self-discipline.”
She graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa and has served on the school’s Board of Directors. Steven Knapp, President of GWU, is thrilled to have one of his most notable alum return for such a special occasion.
“I am delighted that Ms. Washington has agreed to give the Commencement address,” he said in a press release. “She has captured the imagination of our students, and they will benefit greatly, as they head out into the world, from hearing her perspective both as an alumna and as a highly successful actor on stage, in film and on television.”
Washington joins an impressive list of previous commencement speakers, including NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams; New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; First Lady Michelle Obama; Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel; former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush; and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
More than 25,000 students will hear Kerry Washington speak. Graduation is scheduled for May 21 on D.C.’s National Mall.