Campus News

Details on Bowdoin's 197th Commencement Announced

Story posted May 09, 2002

Highlights of Bowdoin College's 197th commencement weekend will include addresses by a renowned genetic researcher and two graduating Bowdoin women--fitting in a year marking the 30th anniversary of coeducation at the College.

Bowdoin will award 410 bachelor of arts degrees at its commencement exercises at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 25. President Barry Mills, Class of 1972, will preside over his first commencement as Bowdoin president. He will award the degrees on the terrace of the Walker Art Building.

Maine First Lady Mary Herman will deliver greetings from the state. The Rev. Jill H. Small, interim senior minister, First Parish Church, will deliver the invocation.

Since 1806, Bowdoin has given the honor of speaking at the commencement ceremony to graduating seniors, rather then celebrities. Students compete to determine who will speak. Tara A. Talbot of Canton, Mass., will give a speech titled "The Pride of the Bricklayer" and Homa Mojtabai, of Boston, Mass., will give a speech titled "On Recalling the Offer."

Dr. Kenneth Paigen, director and senior scientist at The Jackson Laboratory, will address graduates and their families at the College's Baccalaureate service at 3 p.m., Friday, May 24, at First Parish Church. Dr. Paigen's speech is titled "A Scientist's View of Education in a Chaotic World." Paigen is known for his pioneering work in biochemical genetics.

Bowdoin senior Phillip J. (PJ) Prest, of Potomac, Md., will also speak at Baccalaureate. His speech is titled "Confessions of a Polar Bear: Reinterpreting the Bowdoin Bubble."

At Saturday's commencement, Bowdoin will award honorary degrees to Paigen; Marsha Johnson Evans, retired Navy rear admiral and head of the Girl Scouts of the USA; and Edward J. McCluskey, director of the Center for Reliable Computing and professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Stanford University.

In the event of very severe weather, commencement will be held in Farley Field House.

Biographies of the honorands follow:

Dr. Kenneth Paigen
Dr. Paigen is director and senior staff scientist at The Jackson Laboratory, a world leader in mammalian genetics research located in Bar Harbor, Maine. He has gained international recognition for his distinguished career in genetics and his pioneering work in biochemical genetics.

A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, he earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology. Following a 27-year tenure at the Roswell Park Memorial Institute in Buffalo (10 years as chairman of the department of molecular biology), Dr. Paigen served as professor and chairman of the department of genetics at Berkeley. He became Jackson Lab's director in 1989.

Under Dr. Paigen's direction, the staff of the nonprofit Jackson Laboratory has doubled to nearly 1,100, and its annual operating budget quadrupled from $24 million to nearly $100 million. The Laboratory has contributed significantly to the past decade's explosive growth in research using the genetic systems of mice to understand human biology and medicine. Today the laboratory's 34 research groups distribute more than 2,3000 varieties of genetically defined mice, as well as databases and other genetic resources to scientists around the world. Their research covers many of our major ills, including cancers, heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and epilepsy.

Marsha Johnson Evans
Ms. Evans is national executive director of Girl Scouts of the USA, the world's preeminent organization dedicated solely to girls. Since taking the helm of GSUSA in 1998, Ms. Evans has guided the organization in furthering its goal of helping girls grow strong in body, mind and spirit. Under her leadership, membership has grown to 2.7 million girls, and adult volunteers have increased to an all-time high of one million.

A retired rear admiral in the United States Navy, Ms. Evans spent much of her 29-year Naval career at the forefront of increasing opportunities for women in the Navy. Before retiring, she served as superintendent of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, headed the Navy's worldwide recruiting organization, and served as Chief of Staff at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, and as Chief of Staff, Naval Base, San Francisco.

A native of Springfield, Illinois, she earned a bachelor's degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles, and a master's degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Edward J. McCluskey 51
Dr. McCluskey '51 is professor of electrical engineering and computer science and director of the Center for Reliable Computing at Stanford University. He worked on electronic switching systems at Bell Labs from 1955-59, then was named professor of electrical engineering and director of the University Computer Center at Princeton University. He moved to Stanford in 1966, and founded the Stanford Digital Systems Laboratory, the Stanford computer engineering program, and the Stanford Computer Forum.

He earned his A.B. from Bowdoin and B.S. and M.S. from MIT in 1953, and his Sc.D. from MIT in 1956. As a doctoral student at MIT, Dr. McCluskey developed the first algorithm for designing combination circuits, the Quine-McCluskey logic minimization procedure. At Bell Labs and Princeton, he developed the modern theory of transients (hazards) in logic networks and formulated the concept of operating modes of sequential circuits. His Stanford research focuses on logic testing, synthesis, design for testability, and fault-tolerant computing.

Dr. McCluskey served as the first president of the IEEE Computer Society, and is the recipient of the 1996 IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award.

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