Relive Commencement 2014 and celebrate all over again. See what you missed or refresh your memory.
This is the full ceremony. Watch for your favorite graduates:
- 1:11:45 - Graduates called
- 1:12:30 - Humanities graduates
- 1:27:45 - Science graduates
- 1:49:39 - Social Sciences graduates
- 2:10:10 - Independent and interdivisional majors
You can also view the following closed-captioned videos:
- Nancy Giles, Commencement Speaker 2014 and Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
- Dorje Gurung '94, Honorary Doctor of Science
- Sterling Lord '42, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
- Jaya Subramanian, Honorary Doctor of Social Studies
- 2014 Presidential Charge to the Graduates
Transcript of Commencement 2013
Note: The transcript is from the live captioning during the ceremony. The honorary degree recipients' speechs and the charge to the graduates have been replaced with improved transcripts, and the names of the graduates have been added in the order they appeared in the program.
>> Please stand as you are able.
We begin the ceremony gracious God grateful for this day and we honor the converse months of these undergraduates.
Students to be chance and joining our community just a few short years ago and what a difference that decision has made for each of them and for this college.
And we are thankful.
We are grateful this morning for there and our diversity of presence and experience here at Grinnell and culture, race, religion, ability and the many ways they can freely reflect and express who they are and who they are becoming.
These students near all nine have granted wisdom.
They have dreamed dreams and move forward with their goals and with the support from mentors.
High school teachers, college faculty and staff, they've moved they moved forward with courage to make their visions become reality.
We are thankful to have journeyed with them.
We recognize to this day their parents, caregivers and friends who have encouraged and supported them all at Grinnell and as many of them have studied and served in this country and all over the world.
As of this arm on he begins and we here at the inspired words and hope filled charges of our commencement speaker and other invited guests, made these undergraduates experience the joy that comes from reaching this milestone.
May the recognize their privilege and here the implicit or express challenge to be socially responsible in personnel and professional decisions.
May they be motivated and determined to move forward making a difference in this world the natural gifts they possess and the skills that they have worked so hard to acquire and that are so necessary for their work in our global community.
Made this ceremony serve as a blessing as they begin the next step of life's journey.
>> Please be seated.
Nancy Giles, Doctor of Humane Letters
>> Ladies and gentlemen, it is my privilege to present Nancy Giles, CBS Sunday morning contributor and a comedian and actress.
Nancy brings to us a unique mix of humor and common sense wisdom.
Her gifts of expression and her perceptive and provocative view of today's world serve as an excellent model for our graduates.
Please welcome, Nancy Giles.
>> President Kington, it is my pleasure to present those persons of higher a compass when a distinction to the faculty and trustees of this college wish to accord honorary degrees.
I have the honor to present Nancy Giles for the honorary degree, Dr.
Of humane letters.
Thank you. I knew I was speaking early in the program, but I have to say that when I heard my name mentioned, I felt my stomach lurch, but for good reasons.
President Kington, Grinnell College faculty and staff, honored guests. Family, friends and most importantly, almost-graduates. I am so honored to be here. But I’ve got to be honest with you. I’m kind of disappointed that when you chose me as your commencement speaker, there was no campus uproar. It didn’t stoke the flames of controversy, didn’t blow up on Twitter and become a national story, and didn’t end with me graciously bowing out, not wanting, ‘this day to be about anyone other than the students.’ Man, oh man, to be at that level of notoriety to cause that much discord. Wow!
But me, I’m just a black chick on Weight Watchers with a short ’fro and a puzzled expression, still trying to figure out how I stumbled into doing opinion pieces on CBS Sunday Morning. A kind of chocolate-covered version of what Andy Rooney used to do on 60 Minutes. In case you haven’t seen those essays and opinionated interviews, you can find them on the Internet. Before that, I was on some television series that actually went off the air before you guys were even born, so it’s not really worth mentioning.
Anyhow, luckily I also do voice-overs on television and radio commercials, so you may have heard some of my work. I’m not bragging or anything, but here are just a few of my greatest hits over the years.
“You’re watching Lifetime, Television for Women.”
“Down Home with the Neelys. Coming up next on Food Network.”
“Don’t take Boniva, and tell your doctor if you have difficult or painful swallowing, chest pains, or severe, continuing heartburn, as these may be signs of serious upper digestive problems.”
Thank you. Thank you, yes. That’s me! So, just so you know, I’ve been doing voice-overs for more than 25 years, which is hard to say out loud. In the early days, they used my voice for cute, sexy, fertile-women commercials like anything by Maybelline, SlimFast, various Playtex products. And the years passed. And now I’m doing spots for post-menopausal osteoporosis, women with bladder-control problems. Shaken leg syndrome, which I once mistakenly read as “Shake’n’Bake syndrome.” And isn’t that what the really smart kids in school used to do while they were in the zone, you know? They’d be staring into space, chewing on a pencil, with one leg going wild under the desk. I desperately wanted Shake’n’Bake syndrome. But I digress.
Anyhow, I’ve thought long and hard about what I wanted to say to you all today, what sage words of advice I could offer. What have I learned since I was sitting where you are on my graduation day, only back then I was wearing a green garbage bag. Let me explain. At Oberlin, back in the ’70s, they stopped doing caps and gowns to protest what happened at Kent State, but on the day of my graduation, although we didn’t have caps and gowns, it started to rain. And so as we walked on the grounds like you guys did, they handed each of us a garbage bag to go over our clothes. So in our way we had our own little cap and gown-esque thing. Anyway, back when I graduated in Oberlin in 1981, when I was 10.
So back to your speech. I started with an outline. I read other speeches. I talked to friends about memorable speeches that they’d heard. I wondered, could I come up with a catchphrase, compressing a big idea into a few words, like “Mom Jeans” or “Kim Kardashian.” I talked to students. I watched famous commencement speeches from history. I looked for beautifully worded quotes to express my clumsy thoughts. And as I continued to search for information, I discovered something. There are over 14 million Google listings for procrastination. One could read article after article from scientific and psychological journals, to business magazines and self-help books. Follow links with these articles, take quizzes to see where you fall on the procrastination scale. One could get swept up in research, feel incredibly productive, and actually be avoiding their work all the while. It’s the perfect storm of procrastination.
See, it’s bad enough when I sit down to write, strange things happen. I turn on the computer, and that’s a start. But where is that dripping noise coming from? Aren’t there dishes in the sink? And eventually I’ll get back to the desk, and I’ve got some spam emails to read and delete, and then the phone rings, but I let the machine answer, because I’m writing. But there’s something in my teeth. What is that? A popcorn skin? When did I have popcorn? I’m trying to find it in the mirror. What’s with my hair? Maybe if I wash it and put the cream moisturizer on it while it’s still wet and let it air dry…you get the picture. Focus is not my strong suit.
In any case, one of my favorite movies is It’s a Wonderful Life, the 1946 Frank Capra classic starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. If you haven’t seen it, please Netflix it immediately following your graduation today. It’s a simple but touching story that illustrates how our lives have a purpose, and that each life affects so many other lives. If anything changes, everything changes. So I thought I’d tell you a few stories to show you how my life, and all of our wonderful lives, have a direction, even if we don’t know it at the time.
I wanted to perform initially because I thought it would get me a boyfriend. Yes, that’s sad but true. My dream was that he would see me onstage, under those lights, and he would fall for me instantly, because of whatever it was that I was doing up there. That never happened. But some little fire was lit within. Even though I only got as far as playing a sharecropper in Finnegan’s Rainbow and in the pit orchestra of the Anything Goes that my senior year high school class performed. I sat on the pit, sawing away on the viola while shooting dirty looks at Kelly Mumford, who played Reno Sweeney with a Betty Boop voice, a choice I still don’t understand.
Anyway, after high school, I was determined to make a splash at Oberlin. And that never happened. I’d planned on majoring in theatre, but couldn’t get cast in any of the school shows. I had my heart broken. I flunked theatre history, I switched to creative writing, and struggled there because my black experience wasn’t like Toni Morrison or Alice Walker’s. I loved comedy. And I didn’t quite know what to do. And then the Second City comedy troupe came to Oberlin, and I thought, “I can do that!”
Six months later I was hired, and I was determined to make a splash at Second City. And that didn’t happen. We’re talking 30-plus years ago, and I was one of only three black women who had been in Second City in 25 years. I thought, though, “This is My Moment. Not only will I do good work, but I’ll be a trailblazer. I can bring black characters into the comedy sketches, something they’ve never seen before.”
But two things happened. First, I read a small article in Time magazine about a black woman in San Francisco starring in something called The Spook Show, a solo show with a wild variety of characters. Time magazine called her work “astonishing,” and she was heading to Broadway. Her name was Whoopi Goldberg. My stomach lurched. “That was my slot!” I thought. “That was supposed to be me! I’m the trailblazer.” For a few crazy moments, I considered changing my name to Fifi Steinberg, thinking that I would at least cause some confusion and maybe even help me siphon off some of Whoopi’s upcoming gigs. I didn’t do that. But I was worried.
And the second thing that happened at Second City was a real historical event. Harold Washington was elected the first black mayor of Chicago, but was portrayed by a white actor in Second City’s most recent show after the election. I was stunned. And I realized that even with my crazy Michael Jackson musical monologue—his therapy session turned into a music video—Second City was not interested in it, or me, so I quit.
And I was even more determined to make a splash, somewhere. That rejection forced me to come up with more of my own material. And I could not be more grateful to Second City for that.
I did work in TV, I was on a show called China Beach, but when I came back from New York and I got older, the parts got smaller. And I couldn’t get excited about doing things like a part playing the judge saying “Order! Order in the court!” Yeah. It was way more fun to talk about what I wanted to talk about. That [playing a written part] was boring.
So I think, it turns out, that I was born to give out opinions. And I got that from my mom. She had a take on everything. Mom would get vibrations about people. Do you guys know the Dick Van Dyke Show? Are you familiar with that? All right. My favorite character was Sally. She was the only woman on the writing staff, and she was as funny as the guys, and in fact they treated her like a guy. And she was single, and the closest she ever came to having a decent boyfriend turned out to be a comedian who wanted to be with her so she’d write his material, which stunk. Anyway, I always wondered why Sally’s character always had a black bow in her hair. Why black? Why the same bow every episode? And my mom said, “Well, you know. Rose Marie has been wearing that black bow for years. She was married to Frank Lovejoy, the actor. He died in a plane crash, and she never got over it.” “Hmm…okay, Mom.”
It made sense. You know, she knew the answers. In fact, I loved hearing my mom’s take on celebrities more than anything. We’d be listening to the radio, the great Tony Bennett would be singing. And Mom would say at the end of the song, “I always liked Tony Bennett until he got cute and got a perm and left his wife.” And I’d think, “Hmmmm…that’s really interesting.” So I did the same thing in grade school, discussing Diana Ross during lunch with my girlfriends, with our hands on our little hips. “She thinks she’s so hot. Put her name first: Diana Ross and the Supremes. Hmm! She killed Florence.” And we’d stand around and “Hmm!” together.
So as I grew older, I kept notes and read the papers. I created a few solo shows. I did comedy with some disgruntled ex-hippie friends for no money, but it was a way to develop material. Like, for instance, I realized that February being Black History Month—and by the way, I do a lot of speaking gigs, and February is my busy time, just like December is Santa’s busy time, if you get my drift. Anyway. So March, by the way, is Women’s History Month, and also National Frozen Foods Month. Coincidence? I think not. So anyway, I talked about how these days, it’s called “Black History Month” or “African-American History Month,” and when I was growing up it was “Negro History Week.” And my mom told me that when she was growing up, it was “Colored-People’s Hour.” Honest to God! And I thought, “Oh, the Urban League is really going to hate my guts.”
Anyway, and the evolution of what we were called as a people: colored, negro, black, African-American—which, I never got a phone call about being called African-American. Was there a survey, or does anyone know? Because I must have missed it. I liked Afro-American, you know, because it was about hair. I always thought that we should be referred to by what we really are, which is kidnapped Americans. That seems to me to make sense. More accurate.
In any case, a journalist from CBS news, Erin Moriarty, was at one of those shows, and she called me about a year later, and asked to work on a talk radio project with me “By the way,” she said, “you should submit some of your stuff to Sunday Morning.” I had no idea what she meant. I’d seen essays, yes, by Calvin Trillin and a geologist. I couldn’t figure out where I fit in. But I continued to perform on stage writing about how then-president Bush would, whenever his approval ratings went down, they would up the terror alert. It was so confusing that I got the terror alert color codes mixed up with the food pyramid, so on High Level days, I’d tend to eat more fruits and vegetables.
(I just realized I had glasses that I wasn’t using. Okay. Oh! My God! This is so much better.)
So anyway, sometimes those comments that I made on Sunday Morning essays would bring letters—letters calling me everything from nappy-headed, or as fat as Rush Limbaugh, to saying I should run for office and that I was making black folks proud. Or that I was an Uncle Tom. Or would that make me an Aunt Jemima? And, you know, I always wondered if those two were married in some sort of food-processing dual world.
In any case, the first essay that I pitched to Sunday Morning, and I got the gig, was about the conspiracy of high-heeled shoes. Sex in the City was a big hit in those days, and those girls ran around New York City in stilettos and Manolos, but did you notice that they never got a corn or a bunion, or even limped? See, I’ve never been comfortable in high heels myself. I’ve been 6’1” since I was 14, and my mom used to tell me to wear flats because they were more comfortable. I was in the movie Working Girl many years ago, and I wore bright blue high heels, blue stockings, a blue angora mini-dress, blue eye shadow, and my hair was relaxed and straightened—not tense like it is now; it’s very tense.
In any case, my hair was relaxed into this kind of poufy ’80s style, and as I was headed to the set, I took a final look at myself, “Yeah, you know, girl, you look good!” So there was a group of guys from the crew that were sitting around. And this one guy that I had my eye on sort of sauntered over to me, and I just knew he was going to ask me on a date. And he laughed a little, and he shook his head, and he said, “Listen. We’re taking bets. Are you male or female?” Yes! But, as crushed as I was, I worked that into the first essay that I did about the conspiracy of high-heeled shoes, and I made fun of that guy, because, if I was a drag queen, if I was a cross-dresser, I would have walked better in the shoes. Clearly! Well. Sunday Morning liked the piece, and they got some great mail about it. And that one TV essay led to a job I’ve had for the last 12 years.
And I love doing those commentaries and weighing in on some of the big conversations we’re having in this country. I love this work way more than playing a character. And I still don’t have a boyfriend. FYI. I’m fine about it. You know, why is that a measuring stick for women still? The relationship status, regardless of whatever else might be going on in our lives. Growing up, I remember that I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do. Where I wanted to go to college. Who I wanted to be. But not who I was going to be with! It simply wasn’t in my head. I wasn’t wired that way.
Did I blow it by not looking for a husband in college? Ladies, you’ll tell me later. And kids. Some days it seems like every women in New York City is having a baby. Even the men! On those days, I swear I see men that are pregnant. And once, when I was a few pounds heavier, wearing a baggy sweatshirt and you might remember one of these things called a Walkman under my sweatshirt. I was complimented by a stranger who said to me, “It’s a boy, right?” “No, I said, “it’s a Walkman.”
I love it when people say you can’t understand something unless you’ve had kids. It’s a real conversation killer if you haven’t had children. One time, in an audition waiting room, someone tried to include me in their group, saying, “Those of us with children, and those of use that are” – gesturing in my direction – “childless by choice.” Oh, so that’s what I am!
You know, people make so many assumptions, and I found myself sidestepping all of this advice that I wasn’t really looking for. “Oh, hi, yeah, adoption is great. I did read that artificial insemination article in the Times. Thanks for thinking of me.”
And here’s the thing. I always thought I’d have a daughter, and I imagined us hanging out and talking. “Mommy had you when she was very old. And she tires easily,” I’d tell her. “Be a good girl and pop a Lean Cuisine in the microwave. Hit the 4-minute button, that’s right, and ‘start’. Thank you!” And then the daydream is over and I wake to the sound of blood-curdling screams and a young boy pounding the floor of the cereal aisle in the supermarket as his mommy threatens him with a time out. And suddenly it’s all okay.
So in closing, I just want to tell you some of the things that through my journey have made sense to me. My list is called “Some Things that Make Sense to Me.” As opposed to “What I Know for Sure,” Because I’m not Oprah, and I don’t know anything for sure. In life, it’s smart to say, “I don’t know.”
You should be proud of yourself today, everyone, for what you’ve accomplished. Seriously. I would still be in college in an age with all these distractions and American Idol, and the Veruca Salt, “everything happens right now” mentality, so I’ve got to give it up to you guys.
You will make mistakes. You’ll get fired. You’ll sleep with the wrong people. You’ll work for free. You’ll see others succeed while you fail. Life isn’t fair! But there’s comedy in the unfairness. And all of this will help you to find your unique voice.
I have to remind you again: do not take this incredible education you have for granted. We’re living in a time where young girls in Nigeria, schools are being burned down, and they’re being kidnapped just for wanting to learn. And I know that you don’t take it for granted.
Don’t ever take the right to vote for granted. And as a sidebar, we really desperately need minds like yours in Congress, okay? Let me just say. The lesson for me of this Obama presidency is all politics are local. A president is not a dictator. He can’t act alone. Compromise is a good thing. Both hard left and hard right sides are wrong. Please, will you run for office? Please, all of you? I’m asking.
And by the way, some of the things that I said earlier about race that you laughed at, I hope, laughed about, that’s having the conversation about race that a lot of people talk about. We’re always having a conversation about race, so don’t freak out about it. It’s a messy, awkward, but ultimately fascinating process, as it should be.
So just as a reminder, if anything changes, everything changes.
In closing, I’d just like to congratulate you again. To say it’s very emotional for me to be here. I’m remembering… I’m remembering what I can about my own graduation day, and realizing that I did take it for granted; here’s so much I don’t remember. I hope that all of you look around, feel the seat that you’re sitting in, look at the grass, hug your family and your loved ones. Don’t take any of it for granted. It’s an incredible accomplishment.
And, in the end, the two most important tools I’ve used in my life that have helped me are therapy, and medication.
Thank you, and you all have a wonderful life. God bless you. Thank you. Thank you.
>> When complicated and important issues are molded by publicists and shaped by politicians, we often rely on trusted commentators like Nancy Giles to help us get to the heart of the matter. Her sharp social commentary, leavened with wit, has made her a respected and popular voice in nearly every medium. She’s had success in radio, television, theatre, and film; a forthcoming book will expand her reach even further.
Born and raised in Queens, N.Y., Giles went on to graduate from Oberlin College. She spent three years touring with Chicago’s improv comedy troupe, Second City, before returning to New York to pursue work in theatre. She worked at theatres including Playwrights Horizons and Manhattan Theatre Club, and won a prestigious Theatre World Award for her off-Broadway debut in the musical Mayor.
Giles co-hosted the radio show Giles and Moriarty with Erin Moriarty on WPHT in Philadelphia for two years. The program earned two Gracie awards from the American Women in Radio and Television for best radio talk show.
She has also had a busy film and television career, appearing for three seasons on China Beach and two on Fox after Breakfast. On the silver screen, she’s had roles in movies ranging from Working Girl to Big.
But Giles truly found her voice as a writer and contributor to CBS News Sunday Morning, winning an Emmy Award and two more Gracies for her commentaries. She became a go-to guest during the 2008 presidential campaign for shows ranging from Hardball with Chris Matthews to Larry King Live to Today. These days she is a regular guest on MSNBC; and after 12 years on Sunday Morning, her incisive monologues about everything from race to politics to plastic surgery continue shed new light on popular topics.
For using humor to expose important and uncomfortable truths, Grinnell is proud to recognize Nancy Giles.
>> That's Giles, under a combination of that activity at approval of the Board of Trustees I'd me it to the degree doctor of humane letters
>> All I can say it is a heck but this beats playing a doctor on TV.
Dorje Gurung '94, Doctor of Science
>> President Kington, I have the honor to present to Dorje Gurung class of 1994 for the honorary degree doctor of science.
It is a timeworn truth that education is the key to a better life. For Dorje Gurung, a great education changed his life. He has committed his career to helping others experience a similar transformation.
Growing up in Nepal, Gurung started his life with only the most basic educational options; he seemed destined for a life with limited opportunity. But a teacher saw promise in him and encouraged his family to seek out private schooling. Gurung eventually landed in a top boarding school in Nepal’s capital city, Kathmandu.
Eager to take his education further than his country would likely allow, he read voraciously from the modest library at his school. He came to Grinnell on a full-ride scholarship and earned a degree in chemistry. After graduation, Gurung committed himself to international teaching. He taught science and chemistry courses to students in countries ranging from Malawi to Azerbaijan to Vietnam. He helped create real change in his students, one classroom at a time.
In May 2013, while teaching science in Qatar, he was accused by a young student of insulting Islam and was jailed for nearly two weeks. After a powerful international outcry, launched by former students, colleagues, and classmates — including many Grinnellians — he was released.
Such an experience could have easily convinced Gurung to give up his dreams to provide a better education to those who need it most. Instead, it has served as a catalyst for larger-scale work. Shortly after his release, he developed a fundraising campaign to serve children in rural Nepal. He raised more than $30,000.
Today, he is the education program director at COMMITTED, a nonprofit organization that helps provide free quality education to students in rural Nepal.
For his lifelong efforts to offer a better education to all, we are pleased to recognize Dorje Gurung ’94.
>>This is an honor and an incredible privilege…again!
I say again because the path and the opportunity to attend Grinnell College leading to my first degree had been an incredible privilege to begin with!
Coming from the barren and desolate desert of Mustang district, in Nepal, my parents were even unable to afford amenities like a refrigerator, telephone, stereo, indoor plumbing, etc. Quality education for their children was but an unimaginable dream. The most they could hope for for their children was the ability to “ read and write” at poorly resourced and severely underfunded government schools. Luckily for me, a teacher at one of these schools, recognizing my potential, advised my dad to put me in a good school, in Katmandu. “If you let your son continue his education at government schools, nothing will come of his potential,” were apparently his words.
Heeding his advice, my father took me to the capital, where I was admitted to one of the top schools in the country, a Jesuit boarding school, where education was subsidized. That privilege fired my imagination.
When I reached 12 years of age, I dreamed of getting qualifications from an institution in the United States and thereby making a difference to my family and to others from low socio-economic backgrounds through education.
On May 24, 1994, at my own commencement, seated where you all are, when I had realized what had seemed an impossible dream, I wasn’t ready to return to Nepal. I wanted to go see, and learn about, the world instead. I embarked on an extraordinary journal of world travel for over 15 years as an international teacher. From Norway in the north to Australia in the South; from the United States in the West to Vietnam in the East and dozens of other countries in between; from mountain passes at over 17000 feet in Nepal to thirty-plus meter depths of seas of the Philippines; from yurts in Colorado to snow camps in Norway to cabins in the Dolomites in Italy; from wild lives in the small Chitwan National Park in Nepal to the awesome Ngorongoro Crater and the incomparable Serengeti Plain in Tanzania, I discovered and learned a great deal about our planet and, most importantly, about humanity.
In 2013, while in Qatar, I had finally decided to return home to Nepal to provide children from low socioeconomic background the kind of opportunities I’d had. As you know, I was instead incarcerated in a Qatari jail. My freedom was secured by a massive international campaign initiated, managed and run by friends from the Jesuit School in Nepal, friends from the UWC in Italy, friends from Grinnell College, other friends and colleagues from around the world, former students (also from all over the world) and thousands of others.
Since returning home after that dramatic end to my almost 25 years of wandering the globe, I have finally been implementing education-related projects at government schools to help children with backgrounds similar to mine.
That circuitous story of my life was to tell you two things. The first thing: follow your dreams, and you will be rewarded with incredible privileges. The second thing—and probably the more important of the two: Be mindful of the people you encounter along the way—everyone you encounter, from the lowest of the low to those in the highest of positions. The people you meet on your life’s journey, pursuit of your dreams, will make the difference in your life.
Good luck, Class of 2014, as you venture forth, pursuing your dreams, endeavoring to make a difference in your lives and, quite possibly, the lives of others.
Sterling Lord '42, Doctor of Humane Letters
>> President Kington, I have the honor to present the degree doctor of human letters to sterling Lord, class of 1942.
His daughter Rebecca Lloyd, doctor of Oriental medicine will accept this degree in his honor.
Behind every beloved and culture-shifting author is a book agent who saw that writer’s potential and fought hard to make sure that his or her stories were heard. For more than 60 years, Sterling Lord ’42 has helped bring unique and powerful voices to the world.
Lord had just set up shop as an agent in 1952 when a distinguished editor called him and said he’d soon be hearing from an unknown writer named Jack Kerouac. A few days later, Kerouac stopped by Lord’s one-room office with a manuscript for what would become On the Road.
It took Lord nearly four years to land a deal for Kerouac’s unconventional tale, but he was Kerouac’s tireless champion throughout the process, encouraging him to keep writing even when Kerouac considered giving up publishing his work altogether. Kerouac was the first of Lord’s many remarkable clients, which include Ken Kesey, Dick Francis, Frank Deford, and Gloria Naylor. Lord also represents Stan and Jan Berenstain, whose Berenstain Bears books for children have sold nearly 300 million copies in North America alone.
Lord’s time-tested approach as an agent focuses on deeply understanding and championing writers and their visions. It’s a philosophy that has allowed his agency, Sterling Lord Literistic, to thrive. A recent Vanity Fair profile praised Lord as having a “near psychic connection to authors.”
While Lord is best known for helping other authors find their place in the world of publishing, he recently wrote a publishing memoir of his own. Lord of Publishing was hailed by reviewers and praised as “one of the great publishing memoirs of the modern era.” Now in his 10th decade, Lord remains an active agent. His clients call him “the last real gentleman in the book publishing business.”
For helping to bring some of the greatest American voices to a wide audience, we are pleased to honor Sterling Lord ’42.
>> On the recommendation of the faculty of this college and with approval of the Board of Trustees, I hereby admit sterling Lord to degree of doctor of humane letters.
Hi, I am Rebecca Lord, and I am thrilled to be here today to accept this honorary degree on behalf of my Father, Sterling Lord. I want to thank the Honorary Degree Committee, President Kington, the Grinnell faculty and the Trustees for recognizing my Father’s tireless and enduring contribution to the field of literature for over 60 years now.
By bestowing the privilege of this degree on my father, Grinnell has brought him full circle to where he first found a strong sense of self and learned the value of community. This is a poignant coming home for him.
In writing his memoirs, Lord of Publishing, released just a year ago,
my father reflected on what his life had been about. He made a pivotal revelation in the back of a cab just a few years ago. A New York City cab ride can be a kind of transformational crucible. If you are not having a near death experience from the drive itself, you are generally meeting someone from a different culture or discovering great truths. My father saw himself clearly in the answer he gave to a cabby new to New York, who asked him, “ How do you get rich in New York City?” My father, amused that the cabby would even think he had the answer to such a question, replied, “What you should do, as early in life as you can, is find an occupation or line of work that really interests you. If you get involved and become committed and stay with it, you can live a long time and enjoy it, and have a rich life.”
My dad is a man fueled by passion. His passion is and has been to help the writer advance his or her career and to bring vital narrative into the public arena. Ever since I was a little girl, I have listened to him speak of the importance of quality in the work he represented, the impact it could have on our culture and the significance of getting a particular author’s voice heard. Watching him work is like seeing a higher force and purpose fully expressed through a man.
About six years ago, I was thinking of writing a book. I sat down to talk to my father about it. I wondered how it would go because the topic of the book I had in mind was foreign, even to him. When we finally sat down to talk, he was thrilled. I saw a look of pure delight illuminate his face. It seemed to me that he might be thinking, “Finally, after all these years of loving horses and doing things that are not remotely in my realm, she has come to her senses.” As I began to describe the story and my relationship to it, I was shocked. Dad asked all the right questions, even though he knew nothing of the topic. I immediately felt him being engrossed in the story and becoming my complete and total champion. It was as though the very forces of creation were at his command.
I had never before experienced my father this way. It was beautiful. It seemed as though heaven had opened up and was pouring out through my dad.
My father grew up two hours from here, in Burlington, Iowa. He is the eldest of three sons born to Sterling Lord Sr. and Ruth Lord. His love of story and books was instilled in him as a child. His father had learned the art of bookbinding long before my father was born. Bookcases filled with leather bound-books accented with gold inlay covered an entire wall of the family living room. His mother would read aloud every night to the entire family. My grandfather taught him how to bind books. The details of the process, the elegance of the finished product and the high regard that his parents had for books gave my father a reverence for the power of the written word.
Dad’s love of books and reading led him to writing, primarily journalism. He was a local high school stringer for the sports department of the Des Moines Register. He began to develop a good story sense. He came to understand the value of information and the impact that the timing of revelation can have on a story. While he deeply enjoyed writing, by the time he finished college, he realized it was not his forte. Years later, he said to me, “ Without planning or thinking about it, I believe, I moved into agency work because it enabled me to work with these dramatically better-than-I writers.”
Dad attended Grinnell his junior and senior years of college.
His parents didn’t have enough money to pay the full tuition.
To support his education, Sterling waited tables in the dining room during the school year. In the summers he joined the work crew on campus, painting buildings and doing odd jobs. While at Grinnell, he was captain of the tennis team and represented Grinnell in the National Intercollegiate championships in both 1941 and 1942. His senior year he was president of Gates House.
The question of what to do after graduating from Grinnell was immediately answered by the U.S. Army. Dad was drafted.
He was shipped off to Europe and arrived just as the war came to an end. He never saw action on the battlefield. But he did not emerge from the war unscathed. When he arrived and was settling into his bunk, the metal bunk above him crashed, falling onto his right index finger, crushing its nailbed. To this day, I tease him that it is his Purple Heart finger. How lucky he was.
My father jumped from the war right into publishing. He transferred to the Stars and Stripes, an army daily paper. From there he went on to become editor of its weekend section, called Weekend. Eventually the army dropped the publication, allowing my father and a friend to take it over. They ran it first from Frankfurt, Germany, until the 1948 currency reform. The reform made the cost of production so great that they had to relocate to Paris. Eventually Weekend ran out of gas and my father moved back to the U.S.
Sterling chose to land in New York City, a fertile ground for post-war journalism and publishing. After leaving or losing jobs at three different magazines—Cosmopolitan, True and 21—Dad decided he needed a job from which he could not be fired.
Through his magazine work, he had dealt with many literary agents.
He found them ill-equipped to deal with the changing literary market and to represent their clients well. Further, he thought many of the magazine writers he knew could be excellent book authors. Event though he had never done it, he believed he was capable of representing them. He decided to become a literary agent.
Dad opened his agency in 1952, and the rest is history.
When I was 8 years old, my family summered in a small town in southern Massachusetts on Buzzards Bay. One day my nanny and I were going into town for a trip to the mall. When Dad found out where we were going, he gave me an assignment. He told me to go into the bookstore at the mall, find all the books written by his authors and move them to shelves at eye level. Mission impossible: my first assignment. I was so excited.
When we got to the mall, to the horror of my nanny, I marched right into
the bookstore and began scouring the stacks for books written by my father’s clients. I found many and immediately began placing them on shelves at eye level, as I displaced books not represented by my father. Remember, I was 8, so as you might imagine, my eye level was most people’s high-thigh level. Realizing this, I put the books on shelves that were at the top of my arm’s reach. I was busy working away when the proprietor came up to me to ask if I needed help. I told him, no, thank you, I didn’t. He went on to ask what I was doing. I promptly turned to face him and said, “I am improving your store.” My response silenced him, and he left me alone long enough for me to complete my mission. In spite of my nanny’s profound embarrassment, I walked out of that store proud and immensely happy to be part of Dad’s team. Initiation accomplished.
To this day, my father’s tenacity remains intact. In 2010 he had open-heart surgery. He was 89 years old at the time. I remember the enormous relief I felt the day after his surgery. I could feel in my bones that he was going to make it. He was high and happy from the morphine that was supporting him, and the relief he must have felt at surviving the surgery. In the midst of his elation, he looked at me and asked if I would call, let’s say her name is Sue, an author he represented whose work was in the midst of making the rounds with publishers. That night, I reached Sue, who lived in Colorado and told her that my father would be getting back to her in a day or so. There was a pause, after which Sue chuckled and said, “Rebecca, just tell your father to call me when he gets back to the office.” Even faced with death, my father remained on the job.
As long as I have known my father, his passion has supported him. Through multiple marriages, clients coming and going, and challenges of all sorts, the pulse of his passion has never waned. It has been the current that has carried him through life.
Some are lucky enough to be born knowing their passion. Others seek it all of their lives. Most of us are somewhere in between. My father found his early in life. My own passion showed itself when I was a child, got obscured for about 20 years, and then re emerged.
Passion wants to be found. It is the lifeblood of a great people and a great society. My wish for all of you, most particularly those graduating today, is that whether or not your passion has blossomed yet, that you commit yourself to allowing it to emerge. The life you will have by allowing it is beyond what you can dream. It will enrich and enliven the exquisite education you have received at Grinnell. And it will serve the world.
If I can give you one gift, it is a drop of the elixir of passion that runs through my father and me. I offer it to you now to ignite, excite and inspire you. I offer it in deep gratitude for what Grinnell has given my father and now me.
Please take your journey with eyes, mind and heart open.
Revel in the adventure. And let conscious passion be your guide.
Jaya Subramanian, Doctor of Social Studies
>> President Kington, I have the honor to present Jaya Subramanian for the great doctor of social studies.
Grinnell College has a long history of both producing and recognizing leaders in the field of education.
The offering of this honorary degree honors the only today's recipient but also an opportunity for our students and Grinnell College to give public recognition to the many kindergarten through 12th grade teachers that shape the lives of our students.
Good teachers help us understand the world more deeply. Great teachers inspire us to take action based on the lessons we’ve learned. Jaya Subramanian, a high school social studies teacher, believes that traditional teaching tools, like books and lectures, are just a starting point. She encourages her students to learn through hands-on volunteer projects, food and toy drives, and educational travel.
For 10 years, Subramanian taught at Presentation High School in San Jose, Calif.; her classes included world history, economics, and American government. She revived and refined the school’s first global women’s issues class, which quickly became a popular elective.
To help her students internalize the lessons she teaches, she includes service-learning components in many of her courses. Students don’t just read and write on a given topic; they are required to act on it. After taking her courses, students frequently say that she has helped them look beyond themselves to see how they can help others. Subramanian was a co-leader of Presentation’s community involvement organization. She organized events such as the Oxfam Hunger Banquet to help students understand the causes, consequences, and solutions to global poverty. She also led the school’s annual food, toy, and penny drives.
Her work has been recognized frequently. She was named Presentation’s Teacher of the Year in 2002. San Jose Magazine named her Teacher of the Year in 2006. And in 2007, she was one of just 20 teachers in the United States to receive a Korea Society Teaching Fellowship.
In 2010, she took a position at Eastside College Preparatory School in Palo Alto, Calif. The school helps students who are historically underrepresented in higher education gain admission to four-year colleges and universities. For her tireless work to help her students think bigger not just about their own lives, but the lives of others, we are proud to recognize Jaya Subramanian.
>> -- supermini recognition of faculty of this college and with approval of the Board of Trustees I admit you to the degree doctor of social sciences honoris causa.
Congratulations, graduates! I’m humbled and grateful for the honor, and would like to thank the honorary degree committee, the president, the faculty and the trustees of Grinnell College.
However, I would not be up here if not for the covert operations of your own Elena Jaffer ’14. Elena, I knew you were a quiet force in the classroom when I met you as a ninth grader in my honors world history class, and was convinced of your powers in my AP American government class. You took that strength to a whole new level when I received that email from Grinnell about the honorary degree. I love you, kid, but I’m gonna kill ya! You’re lucky that I’m on stage and you’re far away from me right now.
This honorary degree is not about me, but the importance of teaching. Throughout my career, I’ve had, and continue to have, the privilege of working with some amazing educators who inspire me through their dedication to their students. None of them see teaching as a career, but as a vocation. They work 14 to 15 hours a day, crafting and perfecting lesson plans, helping students unravel math problems, giving feedback on a paper that pushes the student to think independently: motivating students to be lifelong learners. I think you get the picture. In addition, they serve as athletic coaches, speech and debate coaches, service program coordinators, and life coaches.
Teaching is the sexiest profession because it is the only profession where you get paid to be a lifelong learner.
Some of you have already experienced the many perks of teaching through the careers and education professions program at Grinnell, and although I may be preaching to the choir, I’m going to use my time on this stage to be an unapologetic evangelist for teaching. Some think that there is no challenge or excitement in teaching, and I can assure you that every day, every class period, is new and challenging. First off, you are in a room with 25+ teenagers. That by itself is challenging. I currently teach two sections of AP macroeconomics, and no matter how much I plan, I can’t end both classes the same way. This is because the students are the ones driving my teaching. If I’m doing my job right, my teaching makes them ask questions. Every class has its unique personality, and no one class period is the same, even if the subject matter is. Therefore, teachers begin sentences with, “My first period class was on fire today, and my lesson plans for the rest of the week all have to change. But what questions they have!” There is no more dynamic career than teaching.
After about 10 years of teaching, I took a break to explore other careers. Within three months, I realized I needed to get back into the classroom—not just for my sake, but also to preserve my husband’s sanity. I was restless, snappy, and kept whining about missing the classroom. I’m grateful for the lapse in judgment, because it made me realize how lucky I was to be a teacher.
When two very effective teachers meet for the first time, they are more likely to start swapping lesson plans, problem-solving challenge students, and looking for ways to connect. When you do it well, you only see others doing it better. This absence of ego gets you addicted to teach.
I share this stage with individuals whose body of work I’m in awe of. But at the same time, they serve as further inspiration to me to be a better teacher. I’m privileged and grateful. Thank you to all at Grinnell College, and congratulations, Class of 2014.
>> Okay graduates, hang on there, we are almost there.
I promise you.
It is now my bullets as visit to recognize members of the faculty who after long and devoted 10 year to they are entering upon America status.
I now recognize Al F Parker, professor of history, Victoria Brown who could not be here today.
Teaching is at the heart of Grinnell College's mission statement and few professors have taken on that responsibility to teach with more seriousness or enthusiasm than Victoria Brown.
Since arriving at the college in 1989, she has a lot to five classes with of course is an American history and the history of women in the United States, should Diffely excelled out one-on-one meetings with their students, her candid and thoughtful advice helped shape students work and often their future careers.
Students praise her for an influence on them as Google thinkers as writers and as people.
That often cite your as the person who nudged him into careers and social service and social action.
In 2006 he was named LF Parker Professor of history in 2012 the Princeton Review named her as one of the top 300 investors in this country.
As a scholar, Brown was focused much of her research on the Gilded Age and the progressive Era.
She's published extensively on the pioneering social reformer and political activist, Jane Addams, including a biography the education of Jane Addams.
She's co-author of -- in American history book currently she's researching the history of American grandmothers in the 20th century.
The organization of American historians is named her distinguished lecturer.
Brown service for the college has been extensive -- served as chair of the gender women's and sexuality studies program, she has history department chair of the social studies division, she's a cofounder of the scholarly women's achievement groups and chair of expanding knowledge initiative committee.
For her exceptional work work as an historian and for her even more profound influence on generations of students we are pleased to recognize a four-year Brown.
>> Thank you now asked them way more professor Matt Maddox to rise.
>> -- mathematics to rise.
Spin it as small colleges, professors are asked to achieve excellence a scholars and as teachers.
Since arriving at Grinnell in 1980, Emily Moore has excelled at both.
Tackling the challenging research or forging sincere and productive relationships with her students.
As a scholar at your early work focused on the use of computers and education.
In 1997 you were turned to pure mathematics focusing specifically on common is that I knew that word was going to throw me.
A branch about medics that has applications for fields including -- and astronomy.
In 2013 you co-author different sets connecting algebra I met, and the Turks and geometry.
This text but -- senior seminar.
As a teacher you focused on common red torics and abstract algebra, student save your guidance transformed them not just as mathematicians but as learners.
Things in part to a legendary patients you help them become more resilient as a tackle LJ problems and concepts.
Women in particular say your presence in the classroom and department encourage them to go further than they thought possible in their careers as mathematicians.
The service included more than a decade in athletics as a faculty representative for the Midwest conference, first for the women's confidence than for the combined men's and women's conference, you twice served as its President on campus as he served several years on the admissions and student financial aid committee, post -- most visibly your oregano presents at athletic events, theater productions and others to do an act of these.
Is it strong believer in the full liberal arts experience made an effort to support students not just in the classroom but in all the ways they pursued excellence outside of it.
For your achievements as a scholar, for your mentorship free mentorship to women and Matt Maddox and for your amendment to the Grinnell College community we are honored to recognize Professor emeritus mathematics, Emily Moore.
>> I now ask Thomas more, professor of mathematics to rise and I knew you were going to be there.
A strong sense of purpose and community the small college first.
Tom Moore transformed this abstract vision in today the actions by fostering excellence in the classroom and building meaningful relationships with students outside of it.
As a statistics teacher, you bought up the best in your most talented students giving them the tools, the advice and recommendations that allow them to pursue masters disagree in PhD's in statistics.
Be even though students who took just one of your introductory classes in statistics came away with the more new ones understanding of the use and misuse of statistics in our everyday lives.
Your students at every level bard -- skills at teacher but for your warmth and generosity as a person.
Outside of the class you've explored no link between statistics and the liberal arts the 1987 you founded the statistics and liberal arts workshop.
This annual event which is committed to improving statistics education level arts colleges has thrived for more than 30 years.
In 2008, you in part because of this work you received that -- award for outstanding statistics educators.
Your service includes years of dedicated work to the American statistical Association we you are chair of the statistical education section.
You elected a fellow 1998, you've also served as a member of several committees of a mathematical Association of America but you've been deeply engaged in the daily life of the college carving out time to attend countless student events.
Students and a number like are and all of your ability to remember them and their work years and even decades after completing your classes.
Or providing the academic foundation that has led many students into statistics careers at for supporting students and all of their endeavors we are pleased to honor Thomas more as a professor emeritus of mathematics.
>> I now recognize Professor of political science I rest of her who could not be with us today.
During the course of her career he's excelled as a scholar, he's published extensively on constitutional law and politics, jurisprudence and legal theory.
In 2007 -- you publish neglected policies constitutional law legal commentary Pacific education code this important charges conventional manner -- scholars think about and teach constitutional law.
In 2003 the book received the prestigious see Herman budget award Richard Ward from a biblical science Association.
And never hesitated to explore issues outside of his primary areas of scholarship publishing Journal articles and the thoughtful essays on topics far ranging as baseball technology and fatherhood.
Since arriving at Grinnell in 1973, his teaching has included courses on constitutional law and politics and political theory.
In the early innovator of team teaching, he worked with other professors to offer team taught courses including medieval and Renaissance culture and technology and politics.
As a teacher he held his students to exceptionally high standards.
He taught students how to engage with and struggle with difficult text and I ask them to peer by reading material multiple times.
He required them to write decisively in succinctly.
Decades later his former students say they internalized those lessons and that they continue to a dividends.
His service to the college has been both expensive and meaningful.
He served many terms as chair of the political science department has an important and difficult work as chair of the academic honesty's subcommittee, he matured two of Grinnell's -- fellows, generously offering time and advised to junior scholars who flourished under his guidance.
For doing important work of the highest caliber and demanding the same of the students and colleagues, we are pleased to recognize Ira -- of political science.
>> -- Katherine Ryan and Anna told it is my honor to recognize these faculty members moving to senior faculty status with taking early retirement.
Tenured faculty status recognize those members -- released on the rail of full-time teaching obligations to pursue scholarly and professional activities associated with the college.
Thank you and congratulations.
>> President Kington and ladies and gentlemen, the dean of the college will now present the candidates for the degree of bachelor of arts.
>> I told you we'd get there.
With the candidates for the bachelor of arts degree please rise?
>> President Kington, on recommendation of the faculty of Grinnell College, I present to you these candidates for the degree of bachelor of arts.
Having fufilled all of the academic requirements there deemed worthy of and entitled to this degree.
Spin as President of Grinnell College I now recommend it to the Board of Trustees through you as one of its members the each of the students he graduated to the degree bachelor of arts.
>> President Kington, the charter of this institution states that the colleges object shell be to promote the general interest of education and to qualify young people for the different sessions and for the honorable discharge of the various duties of life.
It is a pleasure for me to acknowledge that these students have not only completed a course of formal study at this institution, but have also come to know the commands and the rewards of shared experience in learning.
As such, they have indeed furthered the general interest of education and qualify themselves for the honorable discharge of the various duties of life.
, the Board of Trustees is therefore pleased to accept your recommendation and not the rises you as President to grant this degree.
>> [Captioners Transitioning]President Kingston.
Episode Tyler Roberts will call the graduates in the division of humanities.
>> Will the graduates to the bachelor of arts degree from the division of the humanities please come to the platform as instructed by the Marshall? [ applause ]
Syeda Mariam Asaad
Alexander Timothy Bazis
Caitlin Alana Beckwith-Ferguson
Linda M. Beigel
Clare Elaine Boerigter
Alexander William Bolinger
Braden Andrew Brown
Cesar Gherardo Cabezas Gamarra
Kathlyn Isabelle Elloso Cabrera
Graham Devin Conlon
Evangeline Christiansen Dawson
Stepheny De Silva
Siobhan Caitrin Egan
Daniel Morris Ehrlich
William Henry Elsas
Remy Egre Ferber
>> The president medal is awarded annually each commencement to the senior who example 5 and ideal Grinnell College student.
Superior scholarship, demonstrated leadership the credits both the student and the college.
Compassionate and sensitive behavior, and individual responsibility are among the qualities the must be demonstrated.
It is my pleasure to present the president medal pretty thousand 14 to Remy Egray Ferber.
Hannah Muzio Fiske
John Hutchison Freeland
Cherylyn Marie Geers
Lea Helena Greenberg
Peter Dean Grein
Heather LaVonne Guy
Courtney Alexandria Hemker
Helen Imani Hinkson
Gregory H. Brookins Hinton
Theodore John Hoffman, Jr.
Timothy James Hoffman
Jenna Young Holt
Caroline Holter Hopkins
Emily Katherine Johnson
Samanea Linnaea Hunter Karrfalt
Rachel Lohmann Kirk
Clara Jane Kirkpatrick
Daniel Boden Kisslinger
Joseph Edgar Kloehn
Victor Johannes Kyerematen
Anne Charlevoix Leverich
Aaron Russell Levin
Amy Christine Linder
Kaitlin Hoerl Loftur-Thun
Lucy Elizabeth Marcus
Kai Sandeen Mayer
Lauren J. McLoughlin
Robert William Menner
Emily Fitzgerald Mester
Jeanette Michelle Miller
Jenny Rose Mith
Andrea Marie Nemecek
Andrew Ellis Ohringer
Chloe Kathleen Pachovas
Deshaun Courtney Peters
Eleanor Lattimore Price
Nikki Leigh Pyle
Na Chainkua Reindorf
Arthur Joseph Richardson
Miranda Eveline Robert
Kelsey Elizabeth Roebuck
Rocio A. Safe
Hannah I. Safter
Claire Clementine Schumacher
B. Logan Shearer
Lauren Elizabeth Sheely
Taylor Skelton Smith
Kimberly Kay Spasaro
Eleanor Deck Stevens
Sharon Rose Tan
Lauren Marisa Teixeira
Deborah Lillian Tillman
Kimberli Grace Tipps
Yelena Lucille Varley
Chloe Kate Whitman
Chloe J. Yates
Ji Soo Yim
>> President Kingston these are the graduates from the division of humanities.
[ applause ]
>> Resident have been, per for Sir Charles E Cunningham will call the graduates in the division of science.
>> Will the graduates to the bachelors of arts degree from the division of science please come to the platform as directed by the college Marshall?
>> Already here very good.
[ laughter ]
Marlu Carolina Abarca
Chukwunweike T. Abuah
Marta Rebecca Andelson
Wilfried Vincent Barth
Lorraine Reese Blatt
Georgia Christine Bock
Nicolas Joseph Bonamici
Graeme Alan Boy
Leo Freeman Bremer
David Alexander Brown
Keneil Kirk-Patrick Brown
Michael J. Brus
Amanda Katherine Buduris
Brendan Michael John Byrne
Franklin John Canady
Matthew Sawyer Carlson-Price
Amy Y. Chen
Bao Ying Chen
Tayler Marie Chicoine
Thelma Thabani Chiremba
Andrew Lee Clark
Emily Katherine Clennon
Adam Michael Conn
Casimiro Luciano Da Costa
Adele Elizabeth Crane
Zoe November Cronin
Emma Alexandra Curtis
Tulio Manuel Guindon Curtis
Julia E. Daniels
Nediyana Vesselinova Daskalova
Kristina S. De La Torre
Rebecca Adeline DeGroot
Peter A. Dixon
Erik Ryan Dixon-Anderson
Benjamin Jacob Drabkin
Ronald Christopher S. Edwards
Lauren Grace Emery
Callandre Elizabeth Eyman Casey
Tyler Lee Faulkner
Colton Clarence Feller
Olivia Nancy Lee Finster
David M. Fong
Eli William Freese
Rachel Anna Fritts
Colin Michael Eugene Fry
Molly Jean Gallagher
Christopher Michael Gallo
Elena Maria Teresa Garza
Emily N. Groth
Ananda Carl Guneratne
Clare Ingolia Gunshenan
Seth James Gustafson
Pelle Bevan Hall
David Robert Hanle
Ki Kadeem Rashad Harris
Max Peter Benton Herzberg
Ken Joshua Hine
Amanda Nicole Lois Hodo
Alysia Marie Horcher
Seth William Howard
Ann Marie Hu
Abigail Leigh Jaeger
Elena Kulsum Jaffer
Omeed Ebrahimi Kashef
Max Aaron Keller
Andrew Wayne Kelley
James Dolliver Kent
Hannah Marie Charlson Lant
Jake Kendall Lindstrom
Joseph Paul Lohman
Claire Kidder Lowe
Joseph Benjamin Lytle
Emma Katherine Macdonald
Lana Adil Mahgoub
Harnak Singh Mann
Jackson Gray Markey
Christopher James Marsho
Kaya J. E. Matson
Michael Thomas McCabe
Sarah Ashley McManis
Drew Scott Morley
Maijid Fiifi Moujaled
Ricky Martin Munoz
Cassandra Carol Nedoroski
Cuong Nguyen Tu Manh
Pavlo Meyer Nikolaidis
Ana Julia Novak
Jennelle Kathleen Nystrom
Cody Ryan Olson
Natalie Anne Pace
William James Pahos
Travis Charles Palmer
Elizabeth Kathryn Phelan
Thomas William Pritchard
Natisha Lee Robb
Marissa Noella Robinson
Hart Crane Russell
Sydney Jean Ryan
Delia Adolphia Salomon
Alejandro Mariano Scaffa
Matthew Ryan Schaeffer
Samantha Lynn Schwartz
John U. Seng
Brittany T. Silver
Katherine Rose Sittig
Tyler James Smiley
Stephanie Caitlin Spahr
Austin Patrick Stahly
Elizabeth Rae Steuber
Abby Elizabeth Stevens
Eric Christian Streed
Lydia Josephine Tanenhaus
Sofia Pauline Tedesco
Jarrett K. Thompson
Prashanna Sharma Tiwaree
Colin Joseph Tremblay
Claire Yiting Tseng
Aiyana Sheva Turpen-Scott
Morina Star Vongsa
Benjamin Edwin Wagnon
Alice W. Wang
Gavin Francis Warnock
Cassidy Megan White
Carter William Wiese
Clare Allegra Wolfe
Colin Robert Wong
Jordan Lee Young
president Kingston, these are the graduates from the division of science.
>> President Kingston.
Carter Ericsson will call the graduates of the division of social studies.
>> Will the candidates to the bachelor of arts from the division of social studies please come to the platform as and start to by the Marshall.
Muhammad Omar Afzaal
Gregory Joseph Armstrong
Lisa Christine Austin
Toby Dean Austin
Stephen Paul Beck
Mary Grace Brandsgard
Liberty Alexandra Britton
Jerome John Brown
Sarah Linn Burnell
Aileen Rose Calderon
Martin Alexander Campbell
Jayson Joseph Campos
Wilfredo Canales Jr.
Nathan Richard Cancilla
Christian Emmanuel Castaing
Han Sol Choi
Madeline Taylor Cloud
Nicholas Kvamme Conway
Tracey Marie Cook
Julian Della Puppa
Moira Colette Machle Donovan
Laura Miranda Dripps
Samuel Gwinn Dunnington
Joseph Lawrence Engleman
Hanna Kate Feldman
Dylan David Fisher
Andrew Scott Frerick
Arthur J. Fretheim
Elena Diane Gartner
Thomas Raymond Goetz
Dylan Thomas Gray
Tiona L’oreal Gray
Chloe P. Griffen
Elise Alexandra Hadden
Stephanie Marie Haines
Sara Jayne Hannemann
Joseph Maxfield Harris
Charlotte Laura Ann Hechler
Wei Chung V. Hsu
Nicole Elizabeth Huffman
Jin-Sub Kevin Hwang
Jaryn Kainoa Inafuku
Max B. Jacobson
Siti Nur Khaleeda Binti Jamaludin
Elizabeth Soyun Jang
John Lucas Johnson
Mekdes Endaylalu Kebede
Morgan Hoover Kinsinger
Samuel Leland Krauth
Rebecca Marina Kulik
Isabella Sánchez Leo
Matthew Riggs Lewis
Sergio Eduardo Lobato Berruezo
Evan R. Ma
Patrick Michael Maher
Hannah Davidson Margolies
Maria Christina Maysonet
Karinou Kimathi Mboka-Boyer
Jessica M. McMillen
Matheos Desalegne Mesfin
Eva P. Metz
Lydia Elaine Mills
Eric Bomi Mistry
Adriyel Virginia Mondloch
Rebecca Avery Moreland
Peter Saul Mosher
Sam John Mulopulos
Patricia Elizabeth Murphy-Geiss
Thomas Alan Raynier Neil
Carmen Daniela Nelsen
Micah Hayman Nelson
Kaydi-Ann Romae Newsome
Amanda Blake Nooter
Emily Anne Nucaro
Jacqueline Nicole Paiz
Stephanie Lynn Porter
Lee Alden Purvey
Ma Moe Pyar
Naomi Jennifer Katzen Ramsay
>> The Andrew W Archibald prize for highest scholarship is awarded at each commitments to that student or students who have attained the best record of academic achievement over the four-year period of collegiate work.
Established in 1927, the award is named for its donor the Reverend.
Andrew W Archibald who served as a distinguished member of the college's Board of Trustees.
It is my pleasure to present the Archibald prize medalist for 2014 to Naomi Jennifer Catson Ramsey.
[ applause ]
Samantha Wu Rebein
Christopher James Re-Scherer
Emily Jean Rhoades
Natalie Richardson Gentil
Nicole Yvonne Robertson
Quinn Edison Rosenthal
Margaret Anne Rudy
Grace Teresa Ryan
Chelsie Jamie Salvatera
Sara Ruth Sanders
Aditya Kumar Sathish
Mackenzie Lee Shanahan
Samah Sameer Jibrael Shda
Benjamin Tucker Shirar
Brian Gregg Silberberg
Vinita Raj Singh
Meagan Leigh Siu
Tyembre Jacquez Smith
Brent C. Soloway
Christena W. Swartz
Clothilde Agnes Francoise Thirouin
Evan Kirk Tuson
Benjamin Graham Tyler
Quinn M. Underriner
Linnea Constance Van Pilsum-Bloom
Anya Schlenker Vanecek
Corina Elena Varlan
Nicholas B. Ward
Sylvia Roys Warfield
Aniela Kae Wendt
Amber N. Whisenhunt
Jeremy Lavala Wiles
Damon Alexander Williams
Timothy Wayne Youtz
Benjamin S. Zeledon
>> President Kingston these other graduates from the division of social studies.
[ applause ]
>> President Kingston, Dean David Lobato will call the graduates for the bachelor of arts degree with independent and interdivisional majors.
>> Will the graduates to the bachelors of arts degree with independent and interdivisional majors this come to the platform as instructed by the Marshall.
Brian James Buckley
Vilma Alejandra Castaneda
Hannah Lesley Chen
Jun Yuan Cheung
Jonathan David Corbin Cohen
Allison Joy Conley
Grace Caroline Gallagher
Javon Nelson Garcia
Milton Dario Garcia
Eliza Kathleen Honan
Leah Marie Lucas
Connor Lafitte Schake
Amelia McDonald Wallace
Catrina Sloan Gardner
Kathryn Ann Hardy
Laurel Elizabeth Tuggle
Dana Lynn Utroske
President Kingston is a big graduates with independent and interdivisional majors.
>> [ applause ] president Kingston I wish at this time to recognize the members of the class of 2014 who have been accepted into the ninth semester program leading to Iowa teaching certification work with the students please stand as I call their names remain standing until I have completed the list?
Thomas Lloyd Brinkman
Karena Alane Escalante
Courtney Alexandria Hemker
Alexander John Krempely
Aaron Alexander Mardis
Naomi Jennifer Katzen Ramsay
Gavin Francis Warnock
Please be seated.
>> Will the graduates to the degree of bachelor's of arts, please rise.
>> First of all let me add my welcome again to graduates and their families and friends in a guest speaker Nancy and everyone on the platform.
We also have to past honorary doctorate degree recipients with us today.
John Kennedy class of 80 and Sampson and house class of 77.
What the from had kids graduating in the 2014 class.
>> Today is Grinnell's 160th commencement ceremony.
So we have been done next -- we have done this a few times.
But for you and your families and friends this is your one day and I appreciate the opportunity to spend it with you.
I especially appreciate it because you are my first entering class of the new president.
>> When you came here you were nervous about just getting through four years and to be honest, so was I.
But look what we have done together.
We have made it through.
Grinnell College good combination is that we take brilliant Glenn people with a lot of advisement to enable them to craft your own education.
Our goal is to help you become over the course of four short years, autonomous, socially committed insightful individuals.
In your case the transformation coincided with my first four years at Grinnell.
And it is determined has been my privilege to watch you grow intellectually and socially and emotionally.
I don't have time actually to teach a course at Grinnell College because of my travel but I will but I have worked alongside many of you and come to know many of you.
And to show the private your teachers feel and certainly or family and friends.
You have had moments of great individual collective action with also to the innovative activities online.
We have had students who have excelled in athletics.
Our Grinnell College seniors computer the West course tour.
Students developed a series of creative mobile apps for everything from accessing the dining hall menu and campus directory to listening to Katie ICR student radio station or reading the campus newspaper, the scarlet and black.
You have done mentored advanced projects on that works of Civil War era political party membership to studies of how art is used as a tool of global diplomacy.
These are competence that in many places would get you mistaken for graduate students.
But it's not enough.
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to participate on a panel of college leaders talking about the future of higher education.
The conference was cosponsored by the New York Times and the University and the power was on was hosted by the chair of NBC news and executive producer of 60 min.
the University and the power was on was hosted by the chair of NBC news and executive producer of 60 min.
In the discussion, is that other national meetings are participated in, I talked about the fact that the majority of babies born in this country now for the first time in modern American history are nonwhite.
Our future, not just at Grinnell College, but as a nation depends on building institutions that help people thrive in a diverse world.
Yet many of our schools and public institutions are unprepared for the change.
The greatest gift we can give you is an academically excellent education rooted in the experience of living, working and learning with people who are different from you.
Grinnell College has a long history of support for diversity and indeed it is one of our core values.
Of the form and scale of the commitment is only going to have to increase in the near future.
Increasingly we are talking about a kind of education that is available at only a few very special places in the world.
Statistically you are part of a small global entity, privileged enough to be given the chance to live and study side-by-side with people different from your background and cultures for four years.
If you look at our peer schools nationally, you'll find that even some of them are having trouble maintaining diversity year-to-year.
That's a consequence of some very profound shifts in our society.
Including the distribution of wealth and resources which is leaving far too many low income children a disproportionate number of homes are not white, trapped in underperforming schools where they aren't getting the kind of education that prepares them to come Pete for admission to college in general and especially to a place like Grinnell College A true commitment to diversity at the college level means recognizing and addressing these challenges so that students from all backgrounds have an equal chance at an excellent education.
And more importantly that they have the chance to get that education together and learn from each other.
>> I'm very sensitive to the burden of families have to bear to pay tuition.
But as a parent of two little boys, I also know that I would go to almost any length to give my sons such an experience.
And your families have extended themselves to you.
Look around you.
This entire operation runs round-the-clock, day in, day out for one purpose.
To educate you.
Some aspect of our campus cannot be shown to contribute to the educational value we provide, it's not going to be supported.
So why should you care? Especially on the day of your graduation? Shouldn't this just be a big party? Shouldn't completing your Grinnell College education delay getting on the highway at 70 mi.
/h without having to worry about how the engine in a car works? Well I don't think so.
>> As people of Grinnell College we assume a special responsibility to not just seeing the world but looking at analyzing it and appreciating and understanding how works and thinking about how to make it better.
One of the unique benefits of attending college in the rural Midwest is the opportunity for focusing on your studies and on building your community.
It also offers a perspective.
The chance to see the world in terms of relationships and systems.
Ultimately I think it also helps you become a business leaders these days are calling me T-shaped person which means they both have breadth and depth of knowledge.
Nationally there is an unfortunate tendency to see this as an either or proposition.
Between a broad but supposedly shallow liberal arts education and it now but supposedly deep vocational focus.
But Grinnell has proven that it's possible to educate truly T-shaped students which is the kind of employers increasingly want the higher and graduate programs want to recruit work it's almost a cliché to observe that is Grinnell College you get such supposedly unusual creatures as an anthropologist who studies advanced statistics or statistician who analyzes human behavior organization provides elegant computer code or computer scientist who makes beautiful music.
That is not accidental.
It's a consequence of some very careful advising and great teaching.
Which these days is taking many new forms.
From escaping alumni and other experts into our classrooms, we are organizing this embedded troops retake ideas out into the world and test them against real conditions.
Or highly advanced mentor research projects or creating great performances and works of art.
>> And while this is your graduation day, I think it would be appropriate at this time to pause and ask you for round of applause to thank your teachers and your family these -- families for their hard work.
>> We can also think of our institution itself in terms of an analogy to that T-shaped that I talked about.
Diversity contributes to the back of your experience and the depth comes from our rather profound culture here.
>> A century ago 1913, Grinnell's president John Maine went to New York and conducted an interview with the New York Times.
Is published under the headline, the big work that is done by small college.
I recorded his work frequently this year and I will quote him on one last time today.
He told the Times reporter, the traditions and ideals of such a place as Grinnell College unify the students.
Every student is a member of the college and inevitably the student acquires a social consciousness.
Traditions and ideals unify the students here.
That is an inherently Grinnell's point of view and it reflects the depth of our experience.
Our global community of alumni is also crucial in that regard.
Actually very few schools have such a group.
Here is one more quote from the 1913 interview which I think illustrates why all of this matters.
Is that our chief aim at Grinnell College is to make our students in the fullest sense citizens of the United States and citizens of the world.
>> Grinnell College is a democratic institution if the student is not democratic that would give the democracy and what a higher purpose can a college have been to be a school of citizenship.
That is why this matters.
We want to get you a good education and have a happy life and wonderful career but we also and we want it to be a great citizen.
This idea of citizenship did not just come down to John Maine the accident work on June 10, 1846, a group of New England ministers known as the Iowa band made the long journey to these territories and founded Iowa college which later became Grinnell College.
According to the lore when the band arrived in Iowa, one of their leaders James Jeremiah Hill latest civil dollar on the table.
He announced that the coin would be the cornerstone of the new college.
The first dollar in its treasury.
He said it down and told his colleagues now appoint a committee to take care of it.
Even then they were appointing committees.
>> The medallion we give you four years ago on a welcoming ceremony which look like this, symbolize the care they took to create this environment for you.
And the responsibility you assume for the welfare of generations to come.
The connector back to John Maine, the coin symbolizes your power and obligation as a citizen of Grinnell College and of the world.
I charge you to embrace that world.
>> As you do so, I hope you will live up to the college's motto.
Truth and humility.
For those of us of the Grinnell College these two principles are deeply intertwined.
There could be no truth without humility because we know that egotism is an obstacle of understanding.
We also know that humility without truth is false posturing.
Being of Grinnell College requires that each of us humbles ourselves before the truth .
Not the truth of the simplistic truths or true false statements, but rather the greater more complex truth of being a caring, wise and engaged human.
This is the charge which I did the stove on you in which it is now your duty to steward and transmit to others.
With that I leave you with my warmest wishes and my greatest hopes.
May continue to flourish, bringing with you on your journey your visions of excellence, action, and the possibility for a better world.
[ applause ]
>> I now request that everyone stand to receive the Benediction.
>> As we prepare to depart from the celebration we ask for continued guidance for these graduates as they go.
We recognize important friendships and hope that they grow as the years pass and that they might last a lifetime.
Me the wisdom that has been gained in the goals that have been set by the students propel them forward to do amazing and innovative things and their varied careers.
With their lives and in their work, me that on either inspirational influences.
Me this market educational privilege that we celebrated with them today, be entering honored by them and may they recognize and embrace their capacity, their power, to truly make a difference in the lives of others.
And finally, we pray for safety for these graduates, their family members and friends as they travel from this place in the coming days.
Me peace of God be with us all.
>> [ Event concluded ]