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Lafayette will grant 518 degrees to 509 graduating seniors at the College’s 166th Commencement, Saturday, May 19.

The event will feature an address by Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, and will include the awarding of five honorary degrees. The processional will begin at 2:15 p.m. and the program at 2:30 p.m. Also scheduled for that day is a Baccalaureate service at 10:30 a.m. with an address by Rabbi Leonard I. Beerman, the founding rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple, Los Angeles, Calif.

The ceremonies will be held outdoors on the Skillman Library Plaza. The alternate location in case of rain is Allan P. Kirby Sports Center.

Lafayette President Arthur J. Rothkopf, Class of 1955, will award honorary degrees to Goodwin (Doctor of Letters); Rabbi Beerman (Doctor of Divinity); Alan R. Griffith, Class of 1964, the vice chairman of the Bank of New York (Doctor of Laws); Franklin D. Raines, the chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae Corporation and former director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (Doctor of Laws); and Charles Coulston Gillispie, the Dayton-Stocker Professor Emeritus of History and professor emeritus of the history of science at Princeton University (Doctor of Science).

Griffith will become chair of Lafayette’s board of trustees on July 1, succeeding Lawrence J. Ramer, Class of 1950, who is retiring from the board after 26 years of service, the last nine years as chair. Rothkopf will recognize Ramer, who has been elected trustee emeritus, for his service on the board.

Ramer will present the Lafayette Medal for Distinguished Service, the College’s highest honor, to trustee Wilbur W. Oaks, Class of 1951. Oaks is a professor of medicine at MPC Hahnemann Medical School.

Bora Tokyay of Istanbul, Turkey, will deliver farewell remarks for the class of 2001. The recipient of the George Wharton Pepper Prize, awarded to the senior who most closely represents the “Lafayette Ideal,” Tokyay will receive a B.S. degree in civil engineering and an A.B. degree in international economics and commerce.

The first student to receive his diploma will be Douglas J. Fish of Londonderry, Vt., a mechanical engineering major who earned the highest grade-point average in the Class of 2001.

Meredith H. Kirsch of Oceanside, N.Y., chair of the Class of 2001 gift committee, will present the class gift.

Two retiring faculty members will be recognized by Rothkopf, Joseph A. Sherma, John D. and Frances H. Larkin Professor of Chemistry, and James P. Schwar, professor of computer science.

Rothkopf will confer the degrees upon the graduates. The degrees will be presented by Christopher W. Gray, the dean of studies; and James Woolley, the Smith Professor of English and clerk of the faculty.

Goodwin joins a list of distinguished Lafayette commencement speakers in recent years, including George F. Will (2000), Maya Angelou (1999), former President George Bush (1998), French Ambassador Francois Bujon de l’Estang (1997), Bill Cosby (1996), and historian David McCullough (1995).

Sherma, the senior member of the faculty, will lead the academic procession as Bearer of the Mace. James F. Krivoski, the dean of students, will marshal the Class of 2001. The class officers are Michelle M. Ruggerio of Waverly, Pa., president; Lauren E. Albano of Morganville, N.J., vice president; Katie A. McCall of Upper Darby, Pa., secretary; Dana M. Longo of Morristown, N.J., treasurer; and Elizabeth A. Plotkin of Short Hills, N.J., and Beth A. Spitalny of Chappaqua, N.Y., class representatives.

Provost June Schlueter will march at the head of the faculty. Trustee Emeritus Edward A. Jesser Jr., Class of 1939, will lead the trustees and the platform party.

Gary R. Miller, College chaplain, will deliver the invocation, and Rabbi Beerman will give the benediction. Nina Gilbert, Lafayette’s director of choral activities, will lead the singing of “America the Beautiful.” Members of the Lafayette Choir, led by Gilbert, will lead the singing of “The Alma Mater.”

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