Swarthmore College seniors, friends and families hope for good weather this weekend as they converge for the college’s Commencement weekend, with Saturday’s Baccalaureate and Sunday’s Commencement exercises scheduled to be held outside in the Scott Amphitheater.
Baccalaureate convenes seniors and faculty in a session considering and reviewing the “moral and spiritual roots of the educational process” and to focus thought on contributing to a more just world. The faculty speaker is Humanities professor Michael Cothren, who will be introduced by Art professor Randall Exon, with a reading to follow by Nicole O’Dell Odim, a member of the class of 1988 and of the college’s Board of Managers. Baccalaureate begins at 3 p.m. and is open to all, except in the case of rain, which would move the ceremony to the Lang Performing Arts Center and limit guests to two per student. A reception follows on Parrish Lawn (LPAC in the event of rain).
Commencement itself will take place on Sunday morning, May 21. Seniors, faculty and administrators will process into the amphitheater from Parrish Hall, rain or shine, beginning at 9:45 a.m. Admission to the amphitheater is ticketed, but the proceedings will be televised at various locations including LPAC and the Scheuer Room of Kohlberg Hall.
The student commencement speaker is Iris Chan; David McElhinney, a 1975 Swarthmore graduate and member of the Board of Managers, will give the commencement reading. Honorary degrees will be presented to David Gelber, a journalist from the Swarthmore class of 1963, philanthropist John Goldman (Class of 1971), and to playwright and actor Anna Deveare Smith, each of whom will speak during the ceremony. A reception will follow at about 1 p.m. on Parrish lawn (LPAC if rainy).