Lafayette granted 612 degrees to 585 graduating seniors and honorary doctorates to four distinguished leaders, including award-winning television and film director, writer, producer, and actor Garry Marshall, today at the 177th Commencement.
Watch a video of Marshall’s Commencement address
View photo galleries of the ceremony and student-family celebrations
Watch a video montage of Commencement scenes
Listen to the Baccalaureate sermon presented by Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer
President Daniel H. Weiss awarded the honorary degrees and delivered farewell remarks for the Class of 2012. Receiving honorary degrees were Marshall (Doctor of Arts); John and Marianne Loose, the founders of Lauren’s First and Goal Foundation (each receiving a Doctor of Public Service); and Barry Sleckman ’83, a noted immunologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (Doctor of Science).
Caitlin M. Flood ’12 also delivered farewell remarks for the Class of 2012. She is the recipient of the George Wharton Pepper Prize, awarded to the senior who “most closely represents the Lafayette ideal.” Flood, of Bellrose Terrace, N.Y., graduated with a bachelor of arts degree with majors in government & law and philosophy.
The first students to receive their diplomas were Megan Feeney ’12, Julie Martin ’12, Oleksiy Onishchenko ’12, Megan Schultz ’12, and Ming Yan ’12, who have achieved the highest cumulative grade-point average in the class. Feeney, of Webster, N.Y., received a bachelor of arts degree with a major in philosophy; Martin, of Riverton, N.J., received a bachelor of arts degree with a major in psychology; Onishchenko, of Chernihiv, Ukraine, received a bachelor of science in biology and a bachelor of arts degree with a major in chemistry; Schultz, of Dillsburg, Pa., received a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering; and Yan, of Yangzhou, China, received a bachelor of science in chemistry.
Thomas J. Bolt ’12 and Kurumi Fukushima ’12, chairs of the Class of 2012 Gift Committee, presented the class gift. Bolt, of Orchard Park, N.Y., graduated with a bachelor of arts degree with majors in English and an individualized, interdisciplinary major in classics. Fukushima, of Glen Ridge, N.J., received a bachelor of arts degree with a major in international affairs.
Weiss congratulated the recipients of annual Lafayette awards for distinguished teaching, scholarship, and service to the College and recognized Helen V. Dungan, cataloging librarian; Charles W. Holliday, professor of biology; J. Ronald Martin, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; and Arnold A. Offner, Cornelia F. Hugel Professor of History, who are retiring and have been elected to emeritus status. He also led a moment of silence for three members of the Lafayette community who passed away: James Connell ’12, Everett Glenn ’14, and John McCartney, professor of government and law.
Edward W. Ahart ’69, chair of the Board of Trustees, recognized trustees Richard A. Grossman ’64, Jefferson W. Kirby ’84, and Walter Oechsle ’57, who have been elected to emeritus status.
Weiss conferred degrees upon the graduates and was assisted in presenting diplomas by Rose Marie L. Bukics, Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Professor of Economics and acting clerk of the faculty, and Hannah W. Stewart-Gambino, dean of the College.
Guy L. Hovis, John H. Markle Professor of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, led the academic procession as Bearer of the Mace. The mace is carried by the faculty member senior in rank of full professor. Jodie A. Frey, interim dean of students, marshaled the Class of 2012. Wendy L. Hill, provost and dean of the faculty, marched at the head of the faculty. Thomas F. McGrail ’55, trustee emeritus, led the trustees and the platform party.
John P. Colatch, chaplain of the College and director of religious and spiritual life, delivered the invocation and gave the benediction. Jennifer W. Kelly, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities, led the Lafayette Choir in the singing of “America the Beautiful” and “The Alma Mater.”