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Joseph Tai Ademofe selected as gonfalonier for 2024 convocation

June 11, 2024

Each year, colleges and schools from across the University of Washington appoint students to lead their peers during the commencement procession. These students are known as gonfalonieres, because they bear the gonfalon — or ceremonial banners — of their institutions. The gonfalonier tradition stretches back to the Italian Renaissance and features some of the university’s most accomplished students.

Meet Joseph Tai Ademofe, a Jackson School student in the Executive Master of International Studies program who represented the College of Arts & Sciences at this year’s convocation ceremony. 

June 8 will always hold a place in Joseph Tai Ademofe’s heart. “It’s going to be here forever,” he said.

This is the date that Ademofe, along with Jackson School undergrad Tomas Paramo, ushered thousands of their peers into Husky Stadium as gonfalonieres for this year’s convocation ceremony. 

Ademofe was nominated by the Jackson School. “I put a lot of deep thought into it, ‘Perhaps I can do it, or I can’t do it,’” he said. After much consideration, and with some encouragement from his family, Ademofe decided to give it a go. “It’s an honor for me to represent the school I’ve attended,” he added. 

After graduation, Ademofe says he plans to spread his wings, enjoying life as a recent grad before applying to positions with non-profits and in policy-making. He credits the Jackson School in part for helping him discover this interest, and showing him the differences he could make in the world.

“[The Jackson School] pushed me in a way that I said ‘OK, yes, I got everything I wanted,’’ Ademofe said. “Kind of like the foundation for me … it’s like a jumping path.”