Campus News

Bowdoin College to Award 414 Degrees at May 29 Commencement

Story posted May 14, 2004

Bowdoin College will award 414 bachelor of arts degrees at its 199th commencement ceremony Saturday, May 29, at 10 a.m. Commencement weekend events will also include speeches by a world-renowned Irish poet and three graduating seniors, and a panel discussion on human rights issues.

Bowdoin President Barry Mills will preside over commencement and award degrees on the terrace of Walker Art Building on the campus quad. In the event of very severe weather, commencement will be held in Farley Field House. (Bowdoin has not held an indoor commencement since 1986.)

Of the 414 in the graduating class, 47 are from Maine. Other states with the most graduates are Massachusetts with 104; New York with 51; California with 25; and Pennsylvania with 23.

Twenty-seven graduates are international students, representing 15 different countries.

Since 1806, Bowdoin has given the honor of speaking at commencement to graduating seniors, rather than celebrities. Students compete to determine who will speak. N. Joel Moser of Northport, Maine, will deliver a speech titled "In 'This' Time and In 'This' Place." Alison Rau of Burlington, Conn., will give a speech titled "Food for Thought."

Senior Class President Ivan Lucuk of Naugatuck, Conn., will also address his classmates and present the College with the Class of 2004 gift.

Other participants include U.S. Rep. Tom Allen '67, who will deliver greetings from the state, and Rev. Dr. Larry Kalajainen, senior minister at First Parish Church, who will deliver the invocation.

Bowdoin will award honorary degrees to Eavan Boland, Irish poet and Stanford University professor; Richard Goldstone, former South African Constitutional Court Justice and champion of international justice and human rights; Shulamit Ran, composer, pianist, educator, and 1991 Pulitzer Prize winner for music; Dorothy Schwartz, executive director of the Maine Humanities Council and education advocate; and Torsten N. Wiesel, president emeritus of The Rockefeller University and Nobel Prize winner in medicine.

While the honorary degree recipients will not give speeches at the commencement ceremony, they will participate in a variety of events with members of the campus community during the weekend.

A panel discussion on human rights issues with Torsten Wiesel and Richard Goldstone will be held at 2:30 p.m., Friday, May 28, in Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center.

The College's baccalaureate ceremony, marking the official end of the academic year, will be held at 4 p.m., Friday, May 28, in Morrell Gymnasium. Eavan Boland will deliver the keynote address. The ceremony will feature a performance of "Soliloquy," a well-known work by Shulamit Ran.

Bowdoin senior Shanique Brown of New Rochelle, N.Y., will also speak at baccalaureate. Her speech is titled "Redefining Commitment and Success."

To read more about the five honorary degree recipients click here.

« Back | Campus News | Academic Spotlight | | Subscribe to Bowdoin News by Email