Events for Denison University's 172nd Commencement exercises will be held on Saturday, May 11, and Sunday, May 12. Baccalaureate celebrations will take place at 1:30 p.m. and again at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, in Swasey Chapel (200 Chapel Drive). The Commencement ceremony, which will feature retiring Denison President Dale T. Knobel delivering the keynote address, will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, on the Fine Arts Quadrangle (240 West Broadway), weather permitting. In the case of inclement weather, the Mitchell Center (200 Livingston Drive) has been designated as the alternate site for Commencement. For more information regarding the commencement events, visit www.denison.edu/commencement.
Denison President Dale Knobel said of Commencement, "At Denison, we work hard to provide a celebratory setting for graduates, their families and their friends to observe this very important passage in life. I know Commencement will be a time for the graduates of 2013 to look back upon the special relationships forged with fellow students, faculty and staff, as well as upon the learning that has taken place both in and out of the classroom." He added, "It also is a time to look into the future, anticipating how these bonds and this education have prepared Denison men and women for productive, responsible and rewarding lives."
More than 500 graduating seniors will receive their Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees during the ceremony. In accordance with tradition, retiring faculty will be recognized, this year's being Todd Feil, professor emeritus of mathematics and computer science, and Lyn Robertson, whose positions include associate professor of education and women's studies, and the director of the John W. Alford Center for Service Learning.
Dr. Knobel's service to the college will be recognized with the conferring of the honorary degree, Doctor of Letters, honoris causa. During President Knobel's 15-year tenure as president, Denison reached and surpassed important milestones in fundraising, expanded and modernized a number of key facilities and increased the profile of both its students and faculty. Dr. Knobel has served since 1998 as the 19th president of Denison University. His numerous honors and recognitions include recently being awarded the 2012 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Chief Executive Leadership Award for its District V. The distinction was given in honor of Knobel's "outstanding leadership and service in support of education."
Under President Knobel's leadership, Denison completed an ambitious "Higher Ground" comprehensive campaign, which generated $178 million for student aid, endowed faculty positions, extensive new campus facilities, and both curricular and student life programming. The college's student/faculty ratio now stands at 10 to 1. Among other core values, President Knobel is an ardent proponent of student and faculty diversity, sustainable operations, the advancement of women in higher education and promotion of the liberal arts, traveling as far as England and Saudi Arabia to discuss the benefits of such a model with educational leaders in Europe and the Middle East.
During Commencement, graduating seniors, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to don green ribbons signifying that they have signed the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility. In taking the pledge, graduates vow to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job they consider.