March 2, 2023

Dear Pitzer Community:

It is my pleasure to deliver some exciting news about Commencement this spring. We are thrilled to announce that Nadia Murad, 2018 co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, will deliver the keynote address to the Class of 2023 at Commencement on May 13.

Nadia Murad is a leading champion of gender equality and advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence. She grew up in Northern Iraq in a farming village that was attacked by ISIS in 2014. ISIS abducted her and thousands of other village women and girls and forced them into sexual captivity.

Nadia escaped to the West and established herself as a powerful voice against war and violence and founded Nadia’s Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to rebuilding communities in crisis and advocating for survivors of sexual violence. She has described her ordeal in her New York Times best-selling memoir, The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State.

It is critical, she says, that we “challenge world leaders to push past the status quo and assume a responsibility to act – to make ‘never again’ a reality, not an empty promise.”

Nadia has received many awards for her tireless global advocacy efforts, including the Nobel Prize for co-founding the Global Fund for Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence.

We are deeply honored to welcome Nadia to Pitzer this spring. In addition to speaking at Commencement, she will visit campus during Commencement week to engage with members of our community in a more informal setting.

In a time of increasing threats to the rights and the very lives of women and girls around the world, and given Pitzer’s dedication to justice and human rights for all, I can think of few as inspiring as Nadia to address our 2023 graduates as they prepare to serve society and the world.

For more general information about Commencement 2023, please visit

Provida Futuri,

Jill A. Klein P’15
Interim President