Families, friends, colleagues, and classmates were all present on a glorious spring morning, Sunday, May 13, to celebrate the commencement of the Marlboro College Class of 2018. A total of 52 undergraduates and 44 graduates were recognized for their Plans of Concentration, Capstone Projects, and many other achievements.
“One of the great joys of living and working at Marlboro is to witness our students live their passions, learn new skills, and grow into engaged citizens,” said President Kevin in his remarks. “Today’s program eloquently catalogues the extraordinary breadth of their interests, exploring ideas about theater, leadership, technology, innovative teaching, identity, painting, the human gut micobiome, art and consumer culture, environmental science, political rhetoric, religious communication, and animal behavior, to name just a few of the Plan and Capstone topics.”
A heartening student addresse was delivered by senior Fiona Craig, who concluded, “I urge everyone to both follow their own conscience, and extend love and forgiveness to those who fail to.” Graduate student speaker and double alumnus Michael Auerbach ’97 MAT ’17 said, “Among over 2 million graduates this year—I did the math—only 0.002 percent (and I rounded up) have done what you have done. And you’ll carry that with you wherever you decide to go.”
Honorary degrees were conferred upon Sara Coffey ’90, founder of Vermont Performance Lab, and Shaunna Oteka McCovey, a distinguished poet, writer, and advocate for Tribal sovereignty. Sara said, “Your Marlboro education positions you for possibilities and your future. And it connects you to a network of alumni—like-minded folks who share your experience—so branch out and connect to them.”
“There are so many young people who don’t have the means or the opportunity to do what you have done—I know a lot them personally,” said Shaunna. “You should be proud of your accomplishments—but also, be thankful.”
The valediction was offered by former faculty, staff, and longtime trustee Ted Wendell, who kept his comments short and sweet: “Today is an ending and a beginning,” he said. “Look back with appreciation and affection on your journey to this moment. Look forward with optimism and anticipation for the opportunities that await you. Seize those opportunities.”