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The University Of San Diego Announces 2018 Commencement Speakers Including Adama Iwu, time person Of The Year 2017

SAN DIEGO – The University of San Diego has announced the speakers for five USD Commencement Ceremonies for 2018. The line-up includes four distinguished alumni and a successful entrepreneur and guest professor.

Headlining 2018 Commencement Ceremonies are:

  • Erik Greupner ’04, JD, Chief Operating Officer for the San Diego Padres.

        School of Law Ceremony, Saturday, May 19, 9:00 a.m.

  • Dima Ghawi ’04, MBA, Motivational speaker and international leadership coach.

        Graduate Schools I (School of Leadership and Education Sciences and Professional and Continuing Education, Sunday, May 20, 10:00 a.m.

  • Adama L. Iwu ’05, Senior Director of State and Government Relations for VISA.

        Undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences, Sunday, May 27, 9:00 a.m., and 

  • Ali Reza Arabnia ’87, MBA, President and CEO of Geico Taikisha Group.

        Undergraduate School of Business and Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, Sunday, May 27, 2:00 p.m.

School of Law speaker Erik Greupner earned his JD degree, magna cum laude, from USD in 2004. Greupner was a member of the Order of the Coif and a judicial intern for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. 

In November of 2016, Greupner was named Chief Operating Officer of the San Diego Padres. Working together with executive chairman Ron Fowler, Greupnerhas day-to-day management responsibility for the Padres’ business operations. 2018 marks his eighth season with the team.

Graduate students from the School of Leadership and Education Sciences will hear their Commencement address delivered by alumna Dima GhawiGhawi, who received her MBA from USD in 2004 is a writer and motivational speaker. As a young girl growing up in Jordan, Ghawi dreamed of an education and a future much brighter than what her culture would allow. 

Today, she travels around the globe for Fortune 100 companies including IBM, Merrill Lynch and Intuit. Her message highlights not only what it takes for women to succeed in the corporate world, but she also provides a guidebook for women courageous enough to shatter glass ceilings and disrupt cultural norms.

Leading the undergraduate commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 27, is alumna Adama L. Iwu ’05 who earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from USD. In December, Time Magazine recognized Iwu as a Silence Breaker and featured her as a “2017 Time Person of the Year.”

The Los Angeles Times published an open letter — led by Iwu and signed by more than 140 women — on the pervasive culture of sexual harassment, discrimination, and assault in politics. This resulted in the creation of the We Said Enough Foundation, whose mission is to eliminate bullying, harassment, andassault in the workplace. Iwu now serves as president of its board.  She has also served as senior director of state and local government relations for Visa since 2015 and is responsible for advancing Visa’s technology and business policy issues in the western half of the United States.

Also on May 27Ali Reza Arabnia ’87, MBA, will speak to more than 700 graduating students from the schools of Business and Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering. A native of Iran, Arabnia was already a successful businessman at an Italian company when he applied to a number of MBA programs.  He chose USD, and in 1987, completed a two-year program in only one year.  Upon his return to Italy, Arabnia was given charge of a failing automotive paint company that proved to be his first real challenge as a CEO. After three years of hard work, the business turned around and became the biggest company in the world in its field.  In 2014, he was honored by the President of Italy as the “Cavaliere del Lavoro,” or the “Knight of Labor.” This title began in 1901 and is awarded each year to those who have distinguished themselves with their innovative contributions to Italy’s economy.

 

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. Later this year, USD will successfully end Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, the university’s most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.