Heidelberg begins the Graduation season for Schiller International University | Schiller International University Skip to main content Skip to footer

Last week, students in Heidelberg held their graduation ceremony in full bloom, after two years of not being able to graduate in person.

Campus Director Tanja Ward welcomed the graduates accompanied by families and friends to the Schlosshotel Molkenkur, with breathtaking views of the Heidelberg Mountain landscape.  She congratulated the students for their resilience and for successfully overcoming the difficult period of the pandemic.

Chief Academic Officer and Provost Victoria Bamond then addressed the graduates and urged them to persevere and “keep knocking even when a door shuts in your face,” and she also recited the poem by Marianne Williamson, Our Deepest Fear.

Schiller Alumni and Head of Department for Regional Initiatives at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, Pavle Jankovic, offered a very moving keynote speech, sharing his experience as a diplomat. “Keep learning, and whenever you stop learning, move on,” he said. Pavle got a round of applause from the audience when he advised, in light of the current state of global affairs, “Between confrontation and cooperation, choose cooperation. It benefits everyone.”

The Valedictorian Awards were given by Tanja Ward and Dean Sanja Stevic to students Amber Nina Hattenhauer and Dahlia Jorge Mahfoud for their academic excellence. Amber said in her speech that despite how challenging it was for her to enroll in an American program, the people she encountered at Schiller helped her complete it successfully. Dahlia focused on how living and studying with people from all corners of the world was one of the best parts of what she truly considered to be “one world, one university”. They both had words of appreciation for their teachers and staff at Schiller.

Patricia Chris Gazheli received the Friedrich Schiller Award. The Instructor of the Year Award was a tie, with professors Jeffrey Girod & Geoffrey Writes called to the stage to receive their recognition awards.


The graduates then received their diplomas, after which they marched to the Pomp and Circumstance tune and celebrated with their families and friends in the wonderful pre-summer weather.

"Go Schillerians, make your alma mater proud," concluded the Campus Director as they walked away with their tassels hanging on the left side of their caps.

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