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Lafayette will grant 615 degrees to 595 members of the Class of 2015 during the College’s 180th Commencement this Saturday.

The ceremony will be streamed live and complete coverage will be on the Lafayette website Saturday night. Also, follow the ceremony on Twitter via @LafCol or #Lafayette15.

Graduates with caps and gowns applaud during Commencement in 2014.Commencement will feature an address by Erik Weihenmayer, renowned adventurer, author, filmmaker, and international speaker, and will include the awarding of three honorary degrees. The program will start at 2:30 p.m., following the academic procession at 2:15 p.m.

The annual Baccalaureate service will be held at 10:30 a.m. the same day, featuring a sermon by the Rev. Alexandra Hendrickson, College chaplain and director of religious and spiritual life.

The Baccalaureate service and Commencement exercises are scheduled to be held on the Quad. In case of rain, one or both ceremonies may be held in Allan P. Kirby Sports Center. If there is a change in the location for either ceremony based on the weather, that information will be available by calling (610) 330-5809.

Read details on the Commencement website

President Alison Byerly will award Weihenmayer an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. She also will award honorary degrees to Karl Stirner, internationally known sculptor and pioneer of the arts community in Easton (Doctor of Fine Arts), and Miles Young, worldwide chairman and chief executive of Ogilvy & Mather and president of Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America (Doctor of Humanities).

Read about the honorees

Edward Ahart ’69, chair of the Board of Trustees, will recognize Trustee Alan Griffith ’64, who has been elected to emeritus status and will receive the Lafayette Medal for Distinguished Service.

Learn more about Griffith

A rear view of graduating seniors during the 2014 Commencement includes a cap that has "Off  To Med School" on itCory Spera ’15 will deliver farewell remarks for the Class of 2015, and in Lafayette tradition, present the sword of the Marquis de Lafayette to his classmates. He is the recipient of the George Wharton Pepper Prize, awarded to the senior who “most closely represents the Lafayette ideal.” Spera, of Lorton, Va., will graduate with a bachelor of science degree in biology.

Read about Spera

Jake Dunsmore ’15, Aidan Guilfoyle ’15, Saahil Nandrajog ’15, and Abby Williams ’15, chairs of the Class of 2015 Gift Committee, will present the class gift. Dunsmore, of Norwalk, Conn., will receive a bachelor of arts in film and media studies. Guilfoyle, of Roanoke, Va., will graduate with a bachelor of arts with majors in art and psychology. Nandrajog, of Haryana, India, will receive a bachelor of arts in economics. Williams, of Sacramento, Calif., will graduate with a bachelor of arts with majors in policy studies and neuroscience.

Senior Class Gift Supports Summer Internships

Byerly will congratulate the recipients of annual Lafayette awards for distinguished teaching, scholarship, and service to the College and recognize 11 faculty members who are retiring and have been elected to emeritus status. They are:

  • Jerome Heavey, professor emeritus of economics
  • William Hornfeck, professor emeritus of electrical and computer engineering
  • Guy Hovis, John H. Markle Professor Emeritus of Geology
  • Edward McDonald, professor emeritus of foreign languages and literatures
  • Susan Niles, professor emerita of anthropology and sociology
  • Rado Pribic, Oliver Edwin Williams Professor Emeritus of Languages
  • J. Randolph Stonesifer, associate professor emeritus of mathematics
  • Javad Tavakoli, professor emeritus of chemical and biomolecular engineering
  • Erol Ulucakli, associate professor emeritus of mechanical engineering
  • Carolynn Van Dyke, Francis A. March Professor Emerita of English
  • James Woolley, Frank Lee and Edna M. Smith Professor Emeritus of English

Read about the award winners
Learn more about the retirees

Byerly will confer degrees upon the graduates and deliver farewell remarks. Assisting in presenting diplomas will be Robert Root, professor of mathematics and clerk of the faculty, and Erica D’Agostino, dean of advising and co-curricular programs.

Following College tradition, the students who have achieved the highest cumulative grade-point average in the class will be the first to receive their diplomas. Li Guo ’15, of Wuhan, China, will graduate with a bachelor of science in psychology, and Heather Hughes ’15, Rocky Mount, N.C., will receive a bachelor of arts with majors in philosophy and a self-designed major in linguistics.

Ilan Peleg, Charles A. Dana Professor of Government and Law, will lead the academic procession as Bearer of the Mace. The mace is carried by the faculty member senior in rank of full professor. Paul McLoughlin, dean of students, will marshal the Class of 2015. Provost Abu Rizvi will march at the head of the faculty. George Rubin ’64, trustee emeritus, will lead the trustees and the platform party.

Hendrickson will deliver the invocation and give the benediction. Jaimie Bandur ’15, Duheng Liang ’15, Emily McGonigle ’15, and Alison Melis ’15, who were selected by Darin Lewis, interim director of choral activities, will lead the singing of “America the Beautiful” and “The Alma Mater.”

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