William & Mary Convocation delayed due to weather; White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki to no longer speak at event

Williamsburg

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki addresses reporters Thursday, April 15, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith)

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was set to speak at William & Mary’s upcoming Opening Convocation ceremony, but on Aug. 27 the college announced she will have to reschedule due to a scheduling conflict.

In addition to this announcement, the college also issued a date change for the event. With heavy rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ida expected this Wednesday, they’ve pushed the event to 5:15 p.m. on Sept. 8 instead.

Psaki ’00, who is also a William & Mary alumna, was also expected to meet with faculty and students during her visit.

“I am so proud to be part of the William & Mary family and was honored to be asked to speak at Convocation,” Psaki said. “This is the beginning of hopefully some of the best years of the lives of the incoming classes and I look forward to coming back to campus to celebrate all the successes with the classes of 2024 and 2025 in the future.”

Psaki double majored in English and sociology at W&M and is a veteran of three presidential campaigns. She served as deputy press secretary in John Kerry’s 2004 campaign, as traveling press secretary in 2008 and then as traveling press secretary and senior advisor in 2012 during the Obama-Biden campaigns.

As a student at W&M, Psaki was a member of the swim team and Chi Omega sorority. She also served as a campus tour guide and admission intern.

Judge John Charles Thomas HON ’18, the first Black justice appointed to the Supreme Court of Virginia and a former longtime member of the William & Mary Board of Visitors, will now serve as the keynote speaker at the event.

“We are very grateful for Judge Thomas’s willingness to step in and speak to our entering classes,” said W&M President Katherine A. Rowe. “He is a dear friend of the university and a powerful and compelling thinker. I know he will kick off the academic year with great passion.

W&M’s annual tradition serves to welcome the newest students to campus. This year’s in-person ceremony will celebrate incoming students as well as all students who joined the university community in the 2020-2021 academic year due to the COVI-19 pandemic.

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