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Lafayette will grant 532 degrees to 524 graduating seniors at the College’s 170th Commencement Saturday, May 21.

The event will feature an address by Tom Ridge, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and former Governor of Pennsylvania, and will include the awarding of honorary degrees.

The processional will begin at 2:15 p.m. and the program at 2:30 p.m. Also scheduled for Saturday is a Baccalaureate service at 10:30 a.m. with an address by John P. Colatch, director of religious life and College chaplain. Both the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies will be held on the Quad. In case of rain, they will be held in Allan P. Kirby Sports Center.

Click here for information for parents on Commencement.

President Arthur J. Rothkopf ’55 will award honorary doctorates to Ridge (Doctor of Laws), Brian P. Lamb, president and chief executive officer of C-SPAN (Doctor of Letters), and Dorothy Gulbenkian Blaney, president of Cedar Crest College (Doctor of Humane Letters).

Oliver Bowen ’05 will deliver farewell remarks for the class of 2005. He is the recipient of the George Wharton Pepper Prize, awarded to the senior who “most closely represents the Lafayette ideal.” Bowen, of Johannesburg, South Africa, is graduating with a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in electrical and computer engineering.

The first student to receive her diploma will be Veronica Hart ’05, who has achieved the highest cumulative grade-point average in the class of 2005. Hart, of Sewanee, Tenn., will receive a bachelor of arts (A.B.) degree with majors in economics & business and Spanish.

Erin McKan ’05, Mitchell Feld ’05, and Catherine Hobby ’05, cochairs of the Class of 2005 Gift Committee, will present the class gift. McKan, of Bowie, Md., is graduating with an A.B. with a major in government and law. Feld, of Randolph, N.J., is receiving an A.B. with a major in economics and business. Hobby, of Chatham, N.J., is graduating with an A.B. with a major in psychology.

Four retiring members of the faculty who have been elected to emeritus status will be recognized, Brenda J. Latka, associate professor of mathematics; William E. Melin, professor of music; Michael A. Paolino, Charles A. Dana Professor of Mechanical Engineering; and B. Vincent Viscomi, Simon Cameron Long Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Rothkopf will confer degrees upon the graduates and will deliver farewell remarks. Diplomas will be presented by James Woolley, Smith Professor of English and clerk of the faculty, and Gladstone A. Hutchinson, dean of studies.

Viscomi, the senior member of the faculty, will lead the academic procession as Bearer of the Mace. James F. Krivoski, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, will marshal the class of 2005.

Provost June Schlueter will march at the head of the faculty. Trustee emeritus Edward A. Jesser Jr. ’39 will lead the trustees and the platform party.

Colatch will deliver the invocation and 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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