Marietta College President Dr. Jean A. Scott and Provost Dr. Rita Smith Kipp handed out more than 300 diplomas Sunday, May 8, during the 174th annual commencement ceremony in the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center in front of more than 2,000 family and friends.
More than 300 graduates receive diplomas at 174th commencement
Scott Burnham ’11 (Conneautville, Pa.) was awarded the coveted Jewett Oration Prize for his speech “A True Transformation.” Derek Ensinger ’11 (Powhatan Point, Ohio) finished second with his speech, “When in Doubt Improvise.”
Burnham’s speech touched on the transformation of the campus, which included a pile of rubble where the library used to stand.
“Our College has built a magnificent library, and a state of the art planetarium. The College has added new staff, bold initiatives, and an innovative strategic plan for the future,” Burnham said. “The Legacy Library has provided a place on campus for students to study, work, and enjoy the silence that is rarely available in our residence halls. It also meant that we didn’t need to climb the five flights of stairs in Mills Hall to find our books. With the creation of the Anderson Hancock Planetarium, students are able to see the stars in galaxies light years away while enjoying some of the best seats on campus.”
The College also honored some of its finest graduates, including valedictorian Abigail M. Bogdan ’11 (Vienna, W.Va.), and salutatorian Cody J. Meglio ’11 (Belpre, Ohio).
The men and women who received their degrees Sunday join the more than 25,000 Marietta College alumni/ae as members of the Long Blue Line.
One of the newest members to the Long Blue Line, Dr. Arthur Levine gave the commencement address. Moments earlier, Levine was conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
"I don’t care if you want to become the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker. You can make a difference,” Levine said. “Making a difference is your birthright. No one can take that away. Don’t give it away. Monday morning is going to require hope, responsibility, and a sense of efficacy. I beg of you, please be the people who will make that commitment.”
Marietta College officials also handed out 18 master’s degrees.
Faculty member, Tomeka Robinson, of the Department of Communication and Media Studies, was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award.
It was another successful year for the Senior Class Gift to the Marietta Fund. More than 60 percent of the graduating class made a donation and they set a school record by raising $4,653. The total is matched by the MCAA and the College's Board of Trustees matched every gift made at $20.11 or more. The total gift was $12,307.