Lafayette will grant 614 degrees to 590 graduating seniors at its 179th Commencement Saturday, May 24.
The ceremony can be viewed live via a link on the Lafayette homepage, which also will have complete coverage of Commencement Saturday night, including videos, photo galleries, and an article. Also, follow the ceremony on Twitter via @lafcol or
Commencement will feature an address by the Honorable Portia Simpson Miller, prime minister of Jamaica, and will include the awarding of four honorary degrees. The program will start at 2:30 p.m., following the academic procession, which will begin at 2:15 p.m.
This year will feature a revamped Baccalaureate service, which will be held 10:30 a.m. the same day. The program will include several original student reflections through music, film, poetry, and prose. President Alison Byerly, Alex Hendrickson, chaplain of the College and director of religious and spiritual life, and Robert Weiner, Jewish chaplain and Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Professor of History, will also present remarks.
The Baccalaureate service and Commencement exercises are scheduled to be held on the Quad. In case of rain, one or both ceremonies may be held in Allan P. Kirby Sports Center. If there is a change in the location for either ceremony based on the weather, that information will be available by calling (610) 330-5809.
Byerly will award Simpson Miller the honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service. She also will award honorary degrees to Harry L. Ettlinger, a member of the “Monuments Men” of World War II (Doctor of Humanities); Kevin Mandia ’92, senior vice president and chief operating officer of FireEye (Doctor of Public Service); and Roger Ross Williams, Academy Award-winning producer and director of documentary films (Doctor of Arts).
In honor of Simpson Miller’s visit, the College has established the Lafayette-Jamaica Scholarship. Lafayette-Jamaica Scholars will receive a scholarship that meets their full financial need for four years. In addition, a $4,000 stipend will be awarded that may be applied toward a Lafayette study abroad experience.
Brad Bormann ’14 will deliver farewell remarks for the Class of 2014. He is the recipient of the George Wharton Pepper Prize, awarded to the senior who “most closely represents the Lafayette ideal.” Bormann, of Flemington, N.J., will graduate with a bachelor of science degree in biology.
Alex Golini ’14, Ayesha Nadarajah ’14, and Sarah Roberts ’14, chairs of the Class of 2014 Gift Committee, will present the class gift. Golini, of Lumberton, N.J., will graduate with a bachelor of arts degree with a major in government and law. Nadarajah, of Mountain Lakes, N.J., and Roberts, of Wyckoff, N.J., will both receive bachelor of arts degrees with majors in English.
Byerly will congratulate the recipients of annual Lafayette awards for distinguished teaching, scholarship, and service to the College and recognize four faculty members who are retiring and have been elected to emeritus status. They are Robert Cohn, Philip and Muriel Berman Professor of Jewish Studies; John Greco, professor of electrical and computer engineering; David Johnson, professor of English; and Julio Piazza, instructor of athletics.
Byerly will confer degrees upon the graduates and deliver farewell remarks. Assisting in presenting diplomas will be Rose Marie Bukics, Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Professor of Economics and acting clerk of the faculty.
Following College tradition, the students who have achieved the highest cumulative grade-point average in the class will be the first to receive their diplomas. They are Madeline Gambino ’14, of Bethlehem, Pa., who will graduate summa cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree with majors in religious studies and history; Xingjian Ma ’14, of Shenyang, China, who will graduate summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering; and Jillian Sacchetta ’14, of Mullica Hill, N.J., who will graduate summa cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree with majors in psychology and Spanish.
Guy Hovis, John H. Markle Professor of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, will lead the academic procession as Bearer of the Mace. The mace is carried by the faculty member senior in rank of full professor. Annette Diorio, vice president for campus life and senior diversity officer, will marshal the Class of 2014.
Wendy Hill, provost and dean of the faculty, will march at the head of the faculty. Thomas McGrail ’55, trustee emeritus, will lead the trustees and the platform party.
Hendrickson will deliver the invocation and give the benediction. Martin Adams ’14, Rachel Hamilton ’14, Marcia Molettieri ’14, and Derek Vill ’14, who were selected by Jennifer Kelly, associate professor of music and director of choral activities, will lead the singing of “America the Beautiful” and “The Alma Mater.”