Lafayette granted 614 degrees to 590 graduating seniors and honorary doctorates to four distinguished leaders, including the Honorable Portia Simpson Miller, prime minister of Jamaica, today at the College’s 179th Commencement.
Receiving honorary degrees were 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); Simpson Miller (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 delivered farewell remarks for the Class of 2014, and in a new Lafayette tradition, presented the sword of the Marquis de Lafayette to his classmates. 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., graduated 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, presented the class gift. Nadarajah, of Mountain Lakes, N.J., and Roberts, of Wyckoff, N.J., graduated with bachelor of arts degrees with majors in English.
Byerly congratulated the recipients of annual Lafayette awards for distinguished teaching, scholarship, and service to the College and recognized four faculty members who are retiring and have been elected to emeritus status. They were 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.
Edward Ahart ’69, chair of the Board of Trustees, recognized trustee Susan Barnes Carras ’76, who has been elected to emerita status.
Byerly conferred degrees upon the graduates and delivered farewell remarks. Rose Marie Bukics, Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Professor of Economics and acting clerk of the faculty, assisted in presenting diplomas.
Following College tradition, the students who achieved the highest cumulative grade-point average in the class are the first to receive their diplomas:
- Madeline Gambino ’14, of Bethlehem, Pa., summa cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree with majors in religious studies and history
- Xingjian “Max” Ma ’14, of Shenyang, China, summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering
- Jillian Sacchetta ’14, of Mullica Hill, N.J., 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, led 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, marshaled the Class of 2014.
Wendy Hill, provost and dean of the faculty, marched at the head of the faculty. Thomas McGrail ’55, trustee emeritus, led the trustees and the platform party.
Alex Hendrickson, College chaplain and director of religious and spiritual life, delivered the invocation and 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, led the singing of “America the Beautiful” and “The Alma Mater.”