Connecticut College Magazine · Summer 2013

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Commencement 2013

Commencement 2013
College Marshal Ann Sloan Devlin leads the Commencement procession.
Photo by Bob MacDonnell

ON MAY 19, under a gray sky, the College community celebrated the 95th Commencement exercises on Tempel Green. The rain held off for the bagpipe-led procession, speeches and a slew of awards, including the College's top two student honors, two College Medals and an honorary degree for speaker Howard Gordon, creator of television's “24” and “Homeland.” Drops began to fall as College Marshal Ann Sloan Devlin read the names of the graduates one by one. They traipsed across the grassy dais to receive their diplomas, hug or shake hands with the president and pose briefly for a photo. By then, no one really cared about the weather, because there they were — the 445 newest graduates of Connecticut College, ready to take the world by storm. The applause was thunderous.

For further coverage of Commencement, including stories, speeches, photos, video and social media, please go to http://commencement.conncoll.edu.


MEET THE CLASS OF 2013

Degrees Awarded
Bachelor of Arts: 443
Master of Arts: 2

Fields of Study
Most popular majors: economics, psychology, biology, government, international relations
Double majors: 94
Most popular combination
of majors: economics and international relations
Triple majors: 1 (dance, sociology and French)
Most unusual major: post-colonial linguistic anthropology (one of six student self-designed majors)

Signature Experiences
Studied abroad: 182
Performed community service:
67 percent
Completed a College-funded internship or summer research: 77 percent
Earned a certificate from an
academic center: 67
Ammerman Center for Arts & Technology: 5
Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment: 10
Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy: 23
Toor Cummings Center for
International Studies and the Liberal Arts: 29
Earned a certificate in
museum studies: 7
Earned teaching certification: 13

Honors
Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa: 43
Latin honors: 141
Departmental honors: 186
Three Fulbright fellowship winners, a Davis Projects for Peace winner and eight All-American athletes 

Where They Came From
29 states in the U.S. and 19 other countries or territories (Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, China, Croatia, Georgia, Kenya, Nepal, Norway, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Tanzania, Tunisia, United Kingdom and Vietnam)

Where They're Going Next
As they packed up their dorm rooms, the graduates of 2013 were heading in many different directions, from first jobs to grad schools to service organizations such as AmeriCorps and Teach for America. Some were still job hunting or reviewing their options; a few had plans to travel before joining the workforce.

Many employers of the Class of 2013 are large and well known; major hospitals, accounting firms and financial services companies are represented. Others are small and specialized, including a German travel agency, a dance company and an organic farm. The most common titles for these first post-college jobs are business analyst, teacher, research assistant and paralegal.

The graduates planning to continue their studies immediately are enrolling in a wide range of graduate and professional programs at public and private universities across the United States. Many graduates are pursuing master's degrees in fields as varied as public health, economics, fine arts, nuclear engineering and forensic psychology. Others are going to doctoral programs or schools of law, medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine. A few of the new graduates will be leaving the U.S. to study, including at the London School of Economics, the University of Ottawa, the University of Oxford, Paris College of Art and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.


HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY

In his remarks to the Class of 2013, President Leo I. Higdon, Jr. (1), reflected on the new graduates' achievements at Connecticut College, as well as the many opportunities ahead of them.

“I hope you continue to embrace learning in all forms; continue to cross boundaries and to make connections others don't see; and continue to live the values of the Honor Code and to respect and value equity and inclusiveness as part of your lifelong learning. Above all, please stay connected to Connecticut College,” he said.

Senior class speaker Amy E. Cheetham (2), of Monroe, Maine, urged her classmates to keep exploring and following their passions.

“Our most powerful tool is our liberal arts education,” she said. “We've been taught to think critically about the very foundations of modern society: to question our actions and our ideas, and the thoughts and deeds of those who came before us. When we leave here today, our most immediate challenges may be renting that first apartment and getting that first job. But our biggest challenge is one we'll face for the rest of our lives: to use our educations to chase our passions and cling to them for dear life.”

Douglas G. Bernstein (3), a religious studies major from Bethesda, Md., received the Oakes and Louise Ames Prize for the year's most outstanding honors thesis. Bernstein's thesis analyzed internal conflicts within the Gelugpa school of Buddhism.

Marline S. Johnson (4), a psychology major and art minor from Chicago, Ill., received the Anna Lord Strauss Medal for outstanding community service and commitment to justice and equity.

President Higdon also presented the Connecticut College Medal to two emeritus trustees, Linda J. Lear '62 (5) and Raymond J. Debbane P'09 '13 (6). Lear, an author and historian, was lauded for her scholarship and environmental advocacy, as well as her service and generosity to the College. Debbane was cited for his work on global hunger and nutrition issues, his service to the College and his strong support of the College's international programs.

An honorary doctorate of letters was awarded to television writer and producer Howard Gordon, who gave the Commencement address.


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