2024 College of Arts and Sciences Graduation Speakers

James “Jim” Johnson, C’74, L’77, a School of Arts and Sciences Board of Advisors member, and student speaker Katie Volpert, C’24, will address the Class of 2024 Sunday May 19 on Franklin Field.

Monday, April 8, 2024

By Jane Carroll

James “Jim” Johnson, C’74, L’77, a member of the School of Arts and Sciences Board of Advisors and the inaugural chair of the College External Advisory Board, will speak at this year’s graduation ceremony for the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts and Sciences. Joining him will be student speaker Katie Volpert, C’24. The event will take place on Sunday, May 19, at 6:30 p.m. on Franklin Field.

James “Jim” Johnson, C’74, L’77, LPS ’21, and Katie Volpert, C’24

Johnson served as General Counsel of Loop Capital Markets, LLC, an investment banking firm located in Chicago, from 2010 until his retirement in 2014. Prior to that, he served as Vice President, Corporate Secretary, and Assistant General Counsel of the Boeing Company from 1998 to 2009. He is also a member of the board of directors of Ameren Corporation, Hanesbrands Inc., Energizer Holdings Inc., and Edgewell Personal Care.

Johnson earned a B.A. in history and a J.D. from Penn, and he returned in 2021 for a certificate in climate change from the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. As an undergraduate, Johnson was part of the varsity fencing team and the Black Student League. A former University Trustee, he is a member of the James Brister Society, a group of alumni volunteer leaders.

Volpert came to Penn from Highland Park, New Jersey. She is majoring in philosophy and political science and minoring in survey research and data analytics. As president and captain of Penn Mock Trial, Volpert has won 15 outstanding attorney awards. A member of Pi Sigma Alpha and an SAT tutor, she has been a fellow with the Penn Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies (PORES) and a political science research assistant.

After graduation, Volpert will work as a deputy clerk at the General District Court in Charlottesville, Virginia, before applying to law school.