Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Program: "You have what it takes to change the world."

10:18 a.m.
A moment of silence followed by Doug Davis (Prof. of Psychology Emeritus) with a reading from Garrison Keillor: "Nothing you do for children is ever wasted."

10:25 a.m.
President Tritton greets the class and asks them to send him an email in ten years, telling him what they learned in college. As for lessons he learned: Don't be content to possess knowledge; contribute.

10:30 a.m.
Louise Tritton begins the conferring of Honorary Degrees (click on names to see video clips):

Michael Dombeck is a renowned environmentalist and conservationist. Dr. Dombeck is the recipient of the prestigious Audubon Medal and the Lady Bird Johnson Conservation Award. He receives Doctor of Sciences. "Do not accept the status quo...be out there...play in the policymaking arena. That's what democracy is all about."

Prof. Rajeswari Mohan introduces Barbara Ehrenreich, a prominent writer, political activist, and commentator on American culture. She majored in physics at Reed College (1963) and received a PhD in cell biology from Rockefeller University (1968), but decided that writing and contemporary criticism was her true calling. She has published 13 books, including Nickel and Dimed, On (Not) Getting by in America, and the recent Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy. She receives Doctor of Letters and offers a salute to all the parents in attendance, as well as "all the workers who make the campus work -- clerical workers, maintenance workers...(applause)...Maybe with this degree in hand I'll finally be able to get a decent job." And, "My instruction to the Class of '07 is, go out there and raise hell."

Jack Coleman, HC president from 1967-77, introduces Freeman Hrabowski president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Dr. Hrabowski was only 19 when he graduated from Hampton Institute with highest honors in mathematics, and then received his M.A. (mathematics) and Ph.D. (higher education administration/statistics) from the University of Illinois. His research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance. He receives Doctor of Laws. "You don't know a lot today. You simply know how to learn," he begins. "Think about the possibilities. You have what it takes to change the world. Watch your thoughts become words, your words become actions, actions become habits -- and watch habits become character. What will you do when no one is watching?"

Wes Williams, former member of the HC Board of Managers, introduces Ghebre Selassie Mehreteab , class of '72 and president of the NHP Foundation, a national nonprofit organization that has taken on the difficult mission of providing quality housing at rents that poor and middle-class families can afford. Mehreteab was born and raised in Asmara, the capital city of Eritrea, and came to the US to pursue his education. Gabe, as he is known to all, graduated from Haverford College in 1972 with a double major in political science and economics. He receives Doctor of Humane Laws and, dedicating his degree to his father, says "Life is anything but what you expect...I was nearly killed in a terrorist attack...Jihadists from Sudan ambushed my car. I came away from this horrific experince grateful and amazed to be alive. It reinstalled a core ideal that HC ingrained in me: peace is the transcendant human value." Then, "It is not what you know that counts,but rather how you use what you know. My three parting words: embrace the challenge."

11:17 a.m.



Prof. Aryeh Kosman begins the roll call. "Aleem Haji Ahmed...Amy Elizabeth Alspaugh...Priya Katherine Amar...Tania Apicella...Timothy Albury Arling..." Kosman reflects on his role. (video)


12:00 p.m.
...Laura K. Zoltan...Kathryn Zukaitis.(video)

1 comment:

Gabe said...

When I graduted in 1972, we only had still photos that took a week to develop

Great job

Ghebre Selassie mehreteab