GRANVILLE, Ohio — Central Ohio weather in May this year was more fickle than ever, with the only consistency being plenty of rain when it was least expected.
A standard greeting for Denison students, faculty and staff during the week preceding Commencement was, "Is it inside or out?" as everyone speculated about the location of Denison's 162nd Commencement on Sunday, May 11.
By Saturday evening, in the midst (and mist) of still another soaking rain and predictions of dangerously high winds, University President Dale T. Knobel decided to forego plans to hold the ceremony outside on the Fine Arts Quad of Denison's Lower Campus. Crews from the Physical Plant then went to work to finish setting up the expansive field house within the Mitchell Recreation and Athletics Center for Commencement and preparing Livingston Gymnasium as the site of the traditional Sunday morning Faculty Coffee and post-Commencement Graduate Reception.
On Saturday, two Baccalaureate Services were held at 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. in Swasey Chapel. The student-organized service included a prelude and postlude by University Organist William Osborne and a choral offering of Psalm 100, "O be joyful in the Lord," by the Denison Singers.
At the services, Hillel Advisors Beth Walter and Professor Mitchell Snay gave the Call to Worship, and Director of Multicultural Affairs Betty Lovelace delivered the invocation. The Rev. Harold Van Broekhoven, professor of Religion, gave the Pastoral Prayer, and University Chaplain Amy Ard '96 gave the sermon titled "To What End?" Hymns sung by the congregation were "The Gift of Love" and "Wonders Still the World Shall Witness."
Commencement on Sunday ran like clockwork, with 482 graduates processing from Alumni Memorial Field House into a flower-bedecked Mitchell Center where faculty, parents and friends greeted them with thunderous applause. Katie Annarino of Columbus gave the Senior Class Address; and Class Co-Governors Matt Bolish of Bethel Park, Pa., and Amanda Eyes of Norwalk, Conn., announced a new record in senior participation for their class gift to the University, nearly $6,000 to be used to plant flowering trees across campus.
Honorary degree recipient Edward G. Voss '50, a nationally recognized scholar and author of the three-volume work Michigan Flora, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree. Chair of the Faculty Anita Waters introduced retiring faculty members Ken Bork (geology), Michael Gordon (history), Zaven Karian (mathematics and computer science) and William Osborne (music).
Denison alumnus Senator Richard G. Lugar '54, R-Ind., gave the Commencement Address, "Life Insulated from World Events Has Ended," to an attentive audience of some 5,000 graduates, family, friends, faculty and staff. After President Knobel completed his Charge to the Class and the senior Denison Singers led the audience in Denison's alma mater, "To Denison," the Mitchell Center was filled with flying black mortar boards as the exuberant graduates officially joined Denison's Society of the Alumni to the roar of cheers from a delighted audience.
- Bio: Richard G. Lugar'54
- Bio: Edward G. Voss '50
- Trustee's Welcome
- President's Welcome
- Commencement Address
- Charge to the Class
- Baccalaureate Address
- Commencement Program [pdf]