College of Business > News & Events > DePaul Graduate Bushra Amiwala Delivers 2020 Student Commencement Speech

DePaul Graduate Bushra Amiwala Delivers 2020 Student Commencement Speech

DePaul University welcomed the Class of 2020 – including Driehaus College of Business graduates – to its network of more than 191,000 DePaul alumni during virtual commencement ceremonies on June 13.

Graduates, their families and the DePaul community watched the business college’s undergraduate and graduate student commencement ceremonies through livestreams on DePaul’s YouTube channel starting at 10 a.m. The ceremonies included remarks from DePaul President A. Gabriel Esteban, PhD, Interim Provost Salma Ghanem and Business Dean Misty Johanson. Each graduate’s name was read and many graduates provided their photos and personal messages to be shown during the ceremony.

Bushra Amiwala (BUS ’20) delivered the undergraduate student commencement address. Amiwala, who earned a degree in management information systems from the School of Accountancy and MIS, gained national attention for her successful campaign to join the Skokie School Board in 2019 and for her inspiring, through unsuccessful, run for a seat on the Cook County Board of Commissioners in 2017. During the latter campaign, Amiwala was named one of Glamour Magazine’s College Women of the Year, Seventeen Magazines 2018 Voice of the Year, and she graced the cover of TIME magazine with other women who were running for office.

In her six-minute recorded speech, Amiwala encouraged graduates to celebrate their resilience and learn from both challenges and successes. “We are the graduates who made it out during COVID, amidst a global pandemic unlike no other,” she reminded them.

Recounting her campaigns for office, Amiwala shared: “That first time I ran for public office, I lost. But six months later I ran for office again and learned to run my campaign as I would a business, and I am proud to carry the title of the youngest Muslim elected official in the United States.”

In addition to serving on the Skokie School Board, Amiwala will work as a large customers sales associate for Google in Chicago beginning in August. “Each graduate has gone here today because we have… worked tirelessly, cultivated experiences, found mentors, and are finally cashing in with bright futures ahead of us,” Amiwala said at the conclusion of her speech. “So, today, on graduation, I hope many of you realize it was just a start. This is the beginning for us. My advice is simply that – put out not only the energy you want into the world, but verbalize it. Speak change into existence.”

Watch the full commencement speech below:

Also c​lick here to learn about the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business’s student speaker.