Denison confers 478 diplomas at 2011 Commencement
Date of Event: May 15, 2011
Posted: May 15, 2011
Denison University awarded undergraduate degrees to the 478 members of the Class of 2011 today at the 170th commencement exercises of the college.
A crowd of some 5,000 parents, family members and friends attended the event, which was held at the Mitchell Recreation and Athletics Center.
Denison Trustee Walter F. Burke, class of 1971, and President Dale T. Knobel opened the ceremonies with a warm welcome to the graduates and attendees. Eleanor Simcox Swensson of Atlanta gave the Senior Class Address. She was followed by class co-governors Brett Ayers of Mentor, Ohio, and Sibylle Freiermuth of Zurich, who announced a senior class gift of nearly $7,000 to the Denison Annual Fund.
Two retiring members of the faculty were recognized by Faculty Chair Garrett Jacobsen. Professor Margaret Meriwether has retired from the Department of History after 30 years of service to the college. Associate Professor Panagiotes Fanaritis is retiring from the Department of Physical Education after 18 years at Denison.
David H. Bayley, a member of the Denison class of 1955 and a life trustee of the college, delivered the Commencement address. An author, educator and specialist in international criminal justice, Bayley serves as distinguished professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the State University of New York at Albany.
Bayley acknowledged in his speech that underneath all the joy of graduating from college, there is always uncertainty, too. "Adulthood is wonderful," he assured the Class of 2011, pointing out that although there will be difficult days, there also will be triumphs. He told the new graduates that in their lives, they will treat cancer, resolve disputes, run for public office, teach, serve their communities, and go into business. "You are going to love it,” he said. The best-kept secret at the time of your graduation, he told them, is that the best years of your life are still ahead of you.
President Knobel conferred an honorary doctorate upon Bayley. He was nominated by William G. Bowen, fellow member of the Denison class of 1955, life trustee of the college, and president emeritus of both Princeton University and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Provost Bradley Bateman, presented the class of 2011 with their degrees, beginning with the senior class co-governors and the Presidents Medalists. In total, there were five Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees awarded, 80 Bachelor of Science degrees and 393 Bachelor of Arts degrees. Among the graduates, 97 earned Latin honors: 60 cum laude, 27 magna cum laude and 10 summa cum laude. The co-valedictorians and winners of the Phi Beta Kappa Anniversary Scholarship were Lorrin Ostojic of Valparaiso, Ind., and John Snee of Washington, Pa.
The ceremony concluded with the Charge to the Class of 2011 by President Knobel. “Dare to be wise,” he said, “and in that acquired wisdom, may you find the best years of your life.”
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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