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Tomas Paramo named gonfalonier for 2024 convocation

June 7, 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 Tomas Paramo, a Jackson School undergrad majoring in Global and Regional Studies representing the College of Arts & Sciences at this year’s convocation ceremony.

Tomas Paramo never could have imagined how his graduation would end up when he started at the UW. In less than 24 hours, Paramo will usher thousands of his peers into Husky Stadium, holding the crosspiece and banner for the College of Arts & Sciences. 

Paramo was nominated for gonfalonier by the Jackson School. “Sabrina Tatta [Jackson School academic adviser] especially said that it was the right connection since the tradition started in Italy,” Paramo said. 

The responsibility of being gonfalonier, according to Paramo, is both a personal and academic milestone. “I feel really happy and proud and honored to be able to represent the Jackson School in the College of Arts & Sciences,” he said. “It’s an opportunity I never thought possible, for sure.”

After graduation, Paramo plans to move to Mondina, Italy for five months starting in August; once returning to the United States, he will begin applying to master’s programs, noting that the Jackson School was at the top of his list.

“[The Jackson School] really feels like it’s a family compared to UW as a whole,” Paramo said. “It’s very human, it has a very human touch.”