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Friends and family of 94 outstanding individuals from 17 different countries gathered together on the warm and sunny Saturday afternoon of December 14th to celebrate their achievements at the Monterey Institute’s Winter Commencement. The formal procession of flag bearers, faculty and students led by Professor Michael Gillen on the bagpipes and President Sunder Ramaswamy walked from the McGowan building on the Institute campus to the historic Golden State Theater on Alvarado Street.

Beloved longtime Monterey Institute professor Kathleen Bailey, recipient of the 2013 Leslie Eliason Excellence in Teaching Award, gave the Faculty Commencement Address. She told the fortuitous story of how she found her dream job at the Monterey Institute, a story that involves Frank Lloyd Wright, raccoons, and a $12 plane ticket.

Michael Sanford (BA ’13/MANPTS ’14) was the chosen Student Commencement Speaker. A former Marine and current president of the MIIS Veteran’s Association, Michael spoke about the accomplishments of his class, people who in his words: “don’t wait for opportunities to fall in their lap, but actively seek and create them.” He pointed out that many of his classmates have already started “being the solution,” by participating in projects benefitting others in the local community as well as around the world.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir