by University Trustee Thomas E. Hoaglin '71
On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Denison University, I am delighted to welcome you to Denison’s 168th Annual Commencement exercises concluding the 178th year of the college.
Today we celebrate your passage from students to alumni. You are about to join a distinguished assemblage of accomplished men and women who have gone before you as graduates of this prominent institution. We will honor two of these who have risen to positions of national and international leadership in their fields. We will pay tribute to Ann Hagedorn, class of 1971, whose work as a writer brings to life events of the past to inform our path to the future. We will also honor a visionary educator and advocate for access and equity in higher education, Dr. Orlando Taylor. A member of the class of 1957, Dr. Taylor studied for a year at Denison through an exchange program with Virginia’s Hampton Institute, one of our nation’s historically black colleges and universities, an experience which profoundly shaped his later research interests in cross-cultural communication. Both Ms. Hagedorn and Dr. Taylor will bring us remarks during today’s ceremony, and we very much look forward to hearing from them.
On this day we also mark the culmination of your academic enterprise over the past four years and the promise of the future you and those of your generation will create. The Class of 2009 will undoubtedly produce leaders of distinction and citizens of great worth. Perhaps one of you will sit where Ms. Hagedorn and Dr. Taylor sit today to receive an honorary degree, or stand where I stand now as a representative of the Board of Trustees. Wherever life takes you, we trust you will represent your Alma Mater admirably.
On behalf of all alumni who have served as Trustees through the years, I thank you, Class of 2009, for joining the Denison family. You have allowed Denison to become a part of you, and you have given the college and its community much in return. Congratulations, and welcome to the Society of the Alumni!