Denison Class of 2019 Commencement Recap
“Happiness is your own responsibility,” says actor, advocate, and businessperson Jennifer Garner ’94 in her Commencement address to the Denison Class of ’19. She adds, “Stay close to your friends from college, have a book on your bedside table at all times, always choose kindness, and foster a sense of humor about yourself.”
Garner’s speech was a high point of Denison’s Commencement Ceremony, as the college celebrated the achievements of the 527 graduates of the Class of 2019 on Saturday, May 18. Close to five thousand parents, families and friends gathered to mark the 178th annual commencement of the college.
An honorary degree was bestowed upon Garner, who in her keynote speech, drew her life lessons from her own history. In addition to her many roles on stage and screen, Garner is an advocate for children, serving as a trustee for Save the Children since 2008. She also recently co-founded the organic food company Once Upon a Farm with the goal of providing children with high-quality, nutritious food that is produced using sustainable methods.
Sharon Martin, a member of the Class of 1965 and of the Denison Board of Trustees, and Denison President Adam Weinberg welcomed families and guests to the event. “We need to be guided by practical wisdom,” said President Weinberg in his charge to the class. Graduating senior Maggie Chamberlain, a communication major and theatre minor, delivered the senior class address, noting, “that life is about taking risks and putting yourself out there. Life is about trying, failing, and picking yourself back up again, and that takes passion.”
The Class of 2019 graduated eight students with a Bachelor of Fine Arts; 16 students with both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts; 89 students with a Bachelor of Science; and 446 students with a Bachelor of Arts. They are entering a new stage of their lives, working with employers such as Nielsen, Merrill Lynch, and L Brands International. Many are going on to further their studies at institutions such as Harvard Medical School, Columbia University, and the University of California-Berkeley. Others still are moving into service opportunities with the Fulbright Institute, Peace Corps, and Teach for America. Within six months of graduation, 85 to 90 percent of Denison alumni are employed, in graduate school, or completing post-graduate service. For the Class of 2017, the most recent year for which Denison has these figures, the number is 96 percent.
The celebration concluded with the assembly singing the Denison alma mater, “To Denison,” and the ceremonial tossing of the mortarboards.
Here are fond memories of our 2019 graduates at the moment when they first stepped onto campus in August of 2015. Enjoy a look back at their move-in day and Induction Ceremony.