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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki Set to Speak at William & Mary’s Opening Convocation

Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, is set to visit her own alum, William and Mary, on Sept. 1 for the college’s opening convocation ceremony. (Courtesy of The White House/Photo by Cameron Smith)

WILLIAM AND MARY — A familiar face is going to be speaking at William & Mary‘s 2021 Opening Convocation ceremony.

White House Press Secretary and Class of 2000 William & Mary alumna Jen Psaki will help William & Mary welcome new and current students during an in-person ceremony, scheduled for Sept. 1 at 5:15 p.m. in the Wren Yard.

Last year’s ceremony was virtual due to COVID-19. This year’s in-person ceremony will not only celebrate incoming students but also all of students who joined the university community in the 2020-2021 academic year, according to an Aug. 4 news release from William & Mary.

Both groups of students are invited to participate in the event, including the traditional walk through the Wren Building at its conclusion.

Psaki, who double majored in English and sociology at William & Mary, became White House Press Secretary in January 2021 when President Joe Biden took office.

While a student at William & Mary, Psaki was a member of the swim team and the Chi Omega sorority. She also served as a campus tour guide and admissions intern.

According to the release, Psaki has remained closely tied to the school since her graduation. She was featured on the cover of the spring 2021 William & Mary Alumni Magazine and recently threw out the first pitch at Nationals Park for William & Mary Day on July 18.

Psaki’s career includes work on three presidential campaigns. She served as deputy press secretary during former Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2004 campaign, as traveling press secretary in 2008 and then as a traveling press secretary and senior advisor in 2012 during the Obama-Biden campaign.

Psaki has also served as spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and as communications director to former Congressman Joe Crowley.

During the Obama-Biden administration, she served as deputy White House press secretary and deputy communications director. Other senior roles during that administration included terms as White House communications director and State Department spokesperson under then-Secretary of State John Kerry.

Prior to joining the Biden-Harris Transition Team, she was the vice president for communications and strategy at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a CNN contributor.

In addition to speaking at this year’s Opening Convocation ceremony, Psaki will meet with small groups of faculty and students the day of her visit.

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