From processional to recessional, watch video clips of the entire 152nd Commencement, held May 27.
Table of Contents
- Welcome by President Clayton Spencer
- Senior Address by Rakiya Mohamed
- Conferral of Honorary Degrees
- Commencement Address by Bryan Stevenson
- Commencement Choir: “Who is Wise”
- Presentation of Candidates for Degrees
- Alumni Association Welcome by Lisa Romeo ’88
- Senior Gift Presentation by Ainsley Jamieson and Pratap Khadka
- Benediction by Multifaith Chaplain Brittany Longsdorf
The ceremonies associated with Commencement date back to medieval times. The senior faculty member bears the mace, a symbol of power and authority, at the front of the procession. The president of the college, the honorands, their hosts, the dean of the faculty, the multifaith chaplain, the president of the Alumni Association, and the trustees follow. They are themselves followed by two faculty marshals, senior college officials, and the faculty, and finally by two junior marshals and the graduating class.
Welcome by President Spencer
“What I am most proud of, beyond these impressive facts and figures, are the human qualities you embody — your adventurous spirits, your creativity, your generosity, and your drive to justice,” President Clayton Spencer said. “Most of all, I love your joy in, and caring for, one another.”
Senior Address by Rakiya Mohamed
“If I was going to make a change in this world, I needed to make a change in my world,” Rakiya Mohamed ’18 told her fellow graduates. “Before I could be the change, I had to change myself.”
“This is what Bates, and more important, the people in it, have instilled in us during our four years.”
Conferral of Honorary Degrees
The 2018 honorary degree recipients were photojournalist Lynsey Addario, historian Jill Lepore, music mastering engineer Bob Ludwig, and human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson, who delivered the Commencement address.
Commencement Address by Bryan Stevenson
“When you get proximate to the excluded and the disfavored, you learn things that you need to understand if we’re going to change the world,” Bryan Stevenson said. “Our understanding of how we change things comes in proximity to inequality, to injustice.”
Commencement Choir: “Who is Wise”
The Commencement choir performed “Who is Wise,” with music by Jeffrey Douma and text adapted from Pirkei Avot, Chapter Four. Conducting the choir was Lecturer of Music John H. Corrie.
Presentation of Candidates for Degrees
Four hundred seventy-three seniors received degrees on May 27. They represent 39 states, plus the U.S. territories and District of Columbia, and 42 other countries.
One in nine was the first in their family to graduate from college. Two-thirds of the class studied abroad, 20 percent are double majors, and 41 individuals received departmental honors for a yearlong thesis. Thirteen, plus two recent alumni, received 2018 Fulbright fellowships.
Alumni Association Welcome by Lisa Romeo ’88
“Stay engaged and stay connected to each other and to your alma mater,” Alumni Association President Lisa Romeo ’88 told the association’s newest members. “And on every path you follow, you will find your Bates family welcomes you.”
Senior Gift Presentation by Ainsley Jamieson and Pratap Khadka
The Class of 2018 raised $6,450 from 398 members, with a 84 percent participation rate.
Benediction by Multifaith Chaplain Brittany Longsdorf
“Remember that you are capable of incredible feats,” said Multifaith Chaplain Brittany Longsdorf.
“You are strong and courageous / You are a piece of something expansive and transcendent.”
Led by two senior class marshals, the Class of 2018 recessed to the music of the Atlantic Clarion Steel Band.