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Danyal Motiwalla ’19, left, celebrates with friends after speaking at the Office of Global Learning’s reception for the Class of 2019 May 2 in the Physical Science Building’s Baker Portico.

International graduates honored at Global Learning reception

With more than 5,000 international students, Cornell is a vibrant global community. The Office of Global Learning honored international students’ achievements May 2, sending the Class of 2019 off in style.

Wendy Wolford, center, vice provost for international affairs, congratulates international graduates.

More than 75 students joined Cornell staff and leadership to celebrate this milestone at an evening reception in the Physical Science Building’s Baker Portico. Wendy Wolford, vice provost for international affairs, and Uttiyo Raychaudhuri, Office of Global Learning executive director, recognized the students’ accomplishments. And Hongnan Ma, M.A. ’01, welcomed the students as Cornell’s newest international alumni.

“From language differences, to finding good food that smells like home, to missing family many thousands of miles away, you have fought your way over very real hurdles,” Wolford said. “I will be so proud to see you at Commencement and to know that you continue to represent Cornell as you go back out into the world.”

“The experience of cultural exchange has always been vital,” Raychaudhuri said, “and now more than ever, it is needed to build a future we all hope for and deserve.”

Danyal Motiwalla ’19, an economics major with minors in theater, computer science and business, reflected on the group’s shared experiences as international students.

“There aren’t many places in the world where you can experience such a wide variety of backgrounds in one setting – it’s empowering,” he said. “We have so much to be proud of as a community. At first glance we have absolutely nothing in common, except maybe knowing the metric system. Yet it’s the very notion that we aren’t domestic students that pulls us together.”

International students make up 47 percent of Cornell’s graduate student community and 11 percent of the undergraduate community. There are 71 nations represented in this year’s graduating class.

Priya Pradhan ’22 is a writing intern at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies.

Media Contact

Rebecca Valli