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West Point Military Academy graduates its most diverse class ever

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West Point Military Academy graduates its most diverse class ever

West Point Military Academy graduates its most diverse class ever

History was made at the U.S. Military Academy, also known as West Point, on Saturday (May 25).

The academy graduated its most ethnically and gender diverse class ever.

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West Point Military Academy graduates its most diverse class ever

(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) History was made at the U.S. Military Academy, also known as West Point, on Saturday (May 25).

The academy graduated its most ethnically and gender diverse class ever.

Of the nearly one thousand cadets who graduated, 221 were women and of those 32 were African-American women.

It was the largest class of women and African-American women since the first class of women graduated from the Army institution in 1980.

"I feel proud and I feel like we set the example for other black women who may have never thought of the military as a career and now we're here and we're saying you can also do this," said new West Point graduate Celine Gunderman.

"Honestly I am so excited.

I really hope that motivates other young women to go and attend these academies," added fellow female graduate Ashley Rivera.

West Point attributed its increase in women and minority cadets to targeted outreach and to the addition of women's lacrosse and rugby athletic teams. The first international student from The Netherlands also graduated on Saturday.

Tom Jansen was among 10 international cadets to graduate in the class of 2019.

"This is honestly the only uniform that does not have a country marking on it and I really like that," Jansen said.

"The fact that the other ones do, it gives us that ability to come up a different perspectives... And international students at West Point really do tend to bring that other perspective.

For example, say we are discussing World War Two, I mean that part of that took place in my country.

We are taught differently.

We have visited the fields.

That brings an invaluable perspective to other students in the class that might not have had the chance to leave America yet." Other international students represented Bangladesh, Guyana, Malaysia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania and Rwanda.

All will return to their home country to continue their military careers.




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