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BC Announces Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S. Will Deliver Commencement Address

Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, will deliver Boston College’s 2023 commencement address on May 22, according to a University release.

Markarova was appointed as Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S. in April 2021, just a few months before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Markarova has embraced her role as a senior Ukrainian diplomat and spokesperson abroad, making media and public appearances, including at the State of the Union Address last year and this year, to convey the agony her country is enduring as well as to make the case for international assistance and intervention,” the release reads. 

University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., will award Markarova with an honorary degree at the ceremony, which she will accept on behalf of the people of Ukraine, according to the release. 

According to the release, Markarova has extensive experience working in both public and private sectors, having worked for 17 years in private equity and financial advisory senior management positions before serving for five years at the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine. She also helped coordinate Ukraine’s macroeconomic revival program, which aims to stabilize the country’s economy as the war continues.

“She also has highlighted the courage and resilience of the Ukrainian people—not just soldiers but everyday citizens—and responded to skepticism among some lawmakers and pundits about U.S. support for Ukraine,” the release reads.

Leahy will also award Sister Jeanne McGowan, S.S.J., Herb Scannell, Katrina Shaw, and Jerry York with honorary degrees at the commencement ceremony.

McGowan, BC M.Ed. ’90, is the founding president of La Salle Academy in Philadelphia, Pa.; Scannell, BC ’79, is the CEO and president of Southern California Public Radio; Shaw, BC M.S.W. ’98, is a senior program officer at the Liberty Mutual Foundation; and York, BC ’67, coached the BC men’s ice hockey team for 28 years, retiring last year as the winningest coach in NCAA hockey history.

April 18, 2023