Macalester College is pleased to announce that Faith Abiodun, executive director of United World Colleges International (UWC), will be the keynote speaker for the 2023 Commencement ceremony. Abiodun will also receive an honorary degree. 

“We are honored to celebrate Mr. Abiodun, whose work leading UWC International advances the college’s vision of a more just and peaceful world,” said President Suzanne M. Rivera. “We look forward to welcoming him to our campus so that he can experience firsthand the impact that UWC graduates have on the Macalester community.”

The Macalester-UWC partnership has a long history and has been integral to the college’s special emphasis on internationalism. Currently over 100 UWC graduates are enrolled at Macalester, with 34 in the current first-year UWC cohort. 

“My passion for youth development stems from the realization that not many young people in the world today are making the required investments that they need to champion ideas for global development,” said Abiodun. “Young people must challenge the status quo by studying the world, questioning existing systems, educating themselves and creating more opportunities than they find. We would not always be able to single-handedly solve macro problems and change the world, but we can each change the conditions around us and make the world more liveable for the next generation, because the world needs us.”

Prior to his UWC appointment, Abiodun served as an executive at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg for nearly a decade, and before that, he was a reporter in Nigeria with The Guardian. He founded The Speech Academy, an elocution and public speaking institution, and Future Africa, a public-sector leadership organization with a presence in more than 30 African countries. In 2013, Abiodun was one of 33 young people worldwide selected to participate in the World Innovation Summit for Education’s year-long executive education program.

Abiodun earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Ibadan (Nigeria) and a master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University. 

UWC is celebrating its 60th anniversary and its network includes 18 schools and colleges across four continents.

The ceremony honoring the Class of 2023 will be held on Saturday, May 13, at 10:30 a.m. in the Macalester Stadium. More details can be found at this link.

April 17 2023

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