Every year, thousands of students graduate from college, eager to go out and make their marks in the world.
Whether on campus or on the big screen, some of this year’s college graduates are already making a name for themselves.
We’ve profiled a dozen of this year’s best and brightest, ranging from student journalists to military leaders to an international moviestar.
Andrew Markoff and Andrew Arsht were debate partners at Georgetown University, accomplishing the rare feat of winning the National Debate Tournament twice -- their sophomore and seniors years.
After winning the tournament as sophomores -- only the second team ever to do so -- the partners took home the Rex Copeland award for the best yearlong record their junior year, winning the tournament again this year. 'This year's win was the best possible finish to my debate career,' Arsht told Business Insider.
While both agreed it was bringing home the first place title to Georgetown's after the program's 20 year drought was a highlight, the second win as seniors, Markoff said, 'doesn't get any less cool.'
Markoff is currently working at Dropbox and Arsht is working as a research assistant at a law firm.
No college newspaper story had a bigger impact this year than University of Alabama graduates Abbey Crain and Matt Ford's report on segregation in the school's sororities.
Their article in student newspaper The Crimson White -- titled 'The Final Barrier: 50 Years Later, Segregation Still Exists' -- was a in-depth look at racial segregation in the school's sororities. Within days of publication, Crain and Ford's story made national headlines and pushed the UA administration to instate 'continuous open bidding,' which allowed all students -- including traditionally excluded minority students -- to join the school's almost exclusively white Greek system.
Originally, the piece had been planned to cover what should have been a historic moment of inclusion, as an objectively impressive black female student seemed poised to break the racial barrier of Greek life. However, she was not accepted to any sorority.
'Matt and I prepared to write a celebratory piece on bid day,' Crain told Business Insider. 'When that didn't happen, we knew we had to do something on this.'
Crain and Ford are both currently planning on moving to New York City to pursue careers in journalism.
United States Mililary Academy cadet Lindsey Danilack served as first captain of the Corp of Cadets this year, the highest position in the military students' chain of command.
As first captain -- also called 'brigade commander' -- Danilack was responsible for implementing a class agenda for all 4,400 cadets and acting as a liaison between students and the West Point administration. Danilack was also only the fourth woman to serve in the position.
Danilack is also involved with sexual assault and sexual harassment prevention efforts, founding a program called Cadets Against Sexual Harassment and Assault raise awareness among cadets.
Danilack now plans to attend flight school and one day go to Harvard Business School.
Danilack was previously featured on Business Insider's list of impressive West Point students, with reporting from Melia Robinson and Melissa Stanger.
Penn State University graduate Marcy Herr spent several summers of her undergraduate career working at an orphanage in Jaipur, India, eventually devising a curriculum to help run the program.
After spending her first summer in India working with a group of 30 children who only spoke Hindi, Herr was invited back as a teaching assistant for other students working in the orphanage. Herr traveled with the students to help them overcome culture shock in the foreign country and acted as a laison between the university, the students, and their Indian hosts.
As Business Insider wrote in February, 'Herr's program was so successful that Penn State expanded the same model to use as the basis for a similar program in Brazil.' The university also awarded her the 2013 Penn State Undergraduate Student Leadership and Service Award, which is given to one student a year.
Herr was accepted to Teach For America and will be teaching this year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Herr was previously featured on Business Insider's list of impressive Penn State students, with reporting from Melia Robinson and Melissa Stanger.
Chris Mays overcame extreme hardship and now seeks reform in issues of affirmative action and racism.
At one point on the brink of homelessness while growing up in Detroit, University of Michigan graduate Chris Mays became an advocate for the school's African-American student community.
As the only African-American member of UM's student government, Mays helped secure transportation funding for a rally in Washington, DC in support of affirmative action. He was also the school's student representative at the event.
As Business Insider wrote in December, Mays is 'also attempting to mend relations between black fraternities and sororities and the University's larger Greek community' and was part of an initiative to encourage UM students to 'use Twitter to share their experiences, both positive and negative, as black students.'
Mays majored in Political Science and British History and plans on eventually pursuing an MBA or JD.
Mays was previously featured on Business Insider's list of impressive University of Michigan students, with reporting from Melia Robinson and Melissa Stanger.
A dominant defensive end for the University of Missouri Tigers and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year his senior year, Michael Sam became the first openly gay football player to be drafted into the NFL when he was selected by the St. Louis Rams.
After coming out in February in an interview with The New York Times, Sam quickly became a leading figure for homosexual acceptance in professional sports -- a position that became only more relevant when his projected draft stock seemed to decline after his announcement.
Although one of the final picks in this year's draft, Sam still made headlines for a kiss with his boyfriend that was broadcast by ESPN. Some compared the couple's affection to the first broadcast interracial kiss by Star Trek's Kirk and Uhura.
Sam is currently competing to make the Rams' final roster.
University of Texas graduate Jay Shah was part of a student team that biked thousands of miles across the United States to collect money for cancer research -- with Shah raising $US6,500 himself.
Shah rode last summer with an organisation called Texas 4000, training for more than a year for the 70-day 4,500-mile journey from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska. Along the way, Shah stopped in cities to give talks that explained why he was riding and encouraged people to get screened for cancer.
On campus, Shah completed majors in three fields -- business, finance, and computer science -- and maintained a 3.9 GPA.
He is a management consulting intern at McKinsey & Company.
Shah was previously featured on Business Insider's list of impressive University of Texas students, with reporting from Melia Robinson and Melissa Stanger.
Although run by college students, University of Pennsylvania-based startup Firefly -- which allows screensharing between computers -- generates revenue in the six figures range.
Targeted at costumer service companies, Firefly allows for secure co-browsing without any software downloads. The startup was recently acquired by Pegasystems for an undisclosed -- but likely high -- sum.
Firefly co-founder Dan Shipper told Business Insider that he negotiated the sale just days after his college graduation. Shipper and his co-founder Justin Meltzer -- who graduated UPenn last year -- were Firefly's only two employees, and ran the company while maintaining a full course load.
Shipper plans on moving to New York City to continue working on Firefly under the Pegasus brand.
Shah was previously featured in Business Insider after selling Firefly, with reporting from Alyson Shontell.
(Note: Business Insider Eduction Reporter Peter Jacobs attended and graduated high school with Firefly co-founder Justin Meltzer)
University of Idaho grad Tyler Smotherman was the top undergraduate ROTC cadet in the country this year, balancing his military responsibilities with an active campus life.
Smotherman placed second on the Army's ranking of ROTC seniors, called the Order of Merit List, the highest undergraduate on the list. The Order of Merit List is based on what Smotherman described to Business Insider as 'warrior/scholar/athlete' attributes -- 45% military evaluations, 40% GPA, and 15% physical fitness.
UI ROTC's battalion commander his senior year, Smotherman was in charge of 40-50 people while pursuing a double major in political science and international relations, as well as minors in Spanish and military science.
Smotherman will continue to serve his country in the National Guard, and plans to attend law school and eventually have a career in government.
First cast as Hermoine Granger when she was only nine years old, Brown University graduate Emma Watson catapulted into superstardom with her role in the 'Harry Potter' franchise, and is now an internationally famous movie star and fashion model.
While best known as the female lead in the blockbuster 'Harry Potter' movies, Watson has also recieved accolades for her performances in films such as 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' and 'The Bling Ring.' The actress also got to show off her comedy chops in a hilarious turn in 'The Is The End.'
A fashion model, Watson has also made her mark as the face of campaigns for brands such as Burberry and Lancôme beauty products.
Splitting her education between Brown and Oxford University, as well as a time consuming filming schedule, Watson may have been the most recognisable face at her graduation ceremony in May.
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