Commencement Weekend 2017 began on the evening of Friday, May 12, with two Baccalaureate celebrations held in Swasey Chapel. Later that night, seniors and their families congregated on the Reese~Shackelford Common to enjoy Denison’s newest Commencement tradition, the Senior Soirée.
On Saturday morning, the grads-to-be gathered with family members on the Academic Quad to greet their professors at the Faculty Coffee, a longstanding and uplifting Denison custom that allows both student and teacher to express heartfelt gratitude and buoyant wishes for a thriving future, including plans for keeping in touch after graduation.
The Commencement ceremony began shortly after noon in the Mitchell Center where Denison Trustee Stephen R. Polk ’78 welcomed the 3,000-plus in attendance. Then, Ani Metzger ’17 delivered the Senior Class Address titled “A Culture of Honor,” followed by the announcement of Senior Class Gift by Co-Governors Olivia Ireland ’17 and Will Lull ’17. Chair of the Faculty Dave Bussan ’81 then recognized retiring faculty members Frank Hassebrock, Psychology; Jim Pletcher, Political Science; Lynn Schweizer, Health, Exercise, and Sports Studies; and Anita Waters, Anthropology and Sociology.
A Commencement presentation combining remarks and performance was offered by the ETHEL string quartet, Denison’s Vail Artists-in-Residence, and they, along with Scott Schurz Sr. ’57, were awarded honorary doctoral degrees.
President Adam Weinberg gave an inspiring address focused on “Unlocking Potential” that charged the graduates to never stop learning throughout their lives, to embrace the relationships they formed at Denison, and to remain engaged with their alma mater. A transcript of President Weinberg’s remarks can be found here.