More than 400 undergraduate and graduate students walked across the stage at the Gill Center on a rainy morning May 19 for the 148th McDaniel College Commencement.
Saturday’s graduates ranged in age from 20 to 61, and came from all over the world — graduates came from a total of 22 state, plus Washington D.C., and 17 different countries from Agentina to China to Cameroon to Taiwan.
Of the 636 graduating, 351 — 317 of who were in attendance — received bachelor’s degrees and 285 — 145 of who were in attendance — recieved their masters.
This year’s commencement speaker was professor emeritus Francis “Skip” Fennell, who modeled his speach after Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture,” entitling his “The Last Lesson Plan.”
He told students they have the knowledge, and the time to be engaged is now.
“OK, you have an education. Now what? It’s time to get involved. Sign up. Compete. Walk in. Take a chance. Apply for that job. Apply for graduate school. Enter the armed services,” Fennell said.
Fennell urged the graduates to reflect on themselves, and told them it was time for “tough love.”
“Since we are considering the reflection and self-evaluation of your final lesson, it’s time to come clean. Here’s what I’m talking about. It’s time to not such much reveal, which could get ugly, but certainly expunge or delete your Stupid Stuff file,” he said. We all have such a file, sometimes buried in the back of your mind, sometimes front and center … Stupid Stuff has no boundaries — it’s certainly more than what you may have said or who you said it to, it’s also those things you didn’t do. We all do this. Confession — my Stupid Stuff file is so vast, I have boxes of Stupid Stuff.”
As a part of the commencement ceremony, a number of awards were given, which included two undergraduate and one graduate award.
The two undergraduate awards include the Argonaut Award, which is presented to the graduating senior with the highest cumulative grade-point average and went to Rebecca Ann Debinski, of Sykesville, who graduated with a 4.00 GPA, and the Edith Farr Ridington Writing Award for the best paper by a graduating senior, which went to Jared Michael Wilmer, a history major from Westminster.
The graduate student award is the Joan Develin Coley Award for Excellence in Education, which is given to a graduate student with the best record in the study of literacy theory and practice, and went to Hannah Nichole Cook, of Hanover, Pennsylvania, this year.
Margaret E. Pfaff was also the recipient of the new Shelton Adjunct Faculty Award for teaching excellence by an adjunct faculty member.