McDaniel graduates share hugs, hope at 147th commencement

Hundreds packed onto McDaniel College's campus Saturday for the 147th commencement ceremony.

Two-and-a-half-year-old Quin sat on his mom's lap in the last row of Baker Memorial Chapel, cuddling into Deb Brothers' black robe.

He reached for her hat, snatching the graduation cap and putting it on his own head, playing with the tassel and smiling.


Brothers was one of hundreds of graduates Saturday at McDaniel College, though her day was a little bit different than most. Her husband, who works for the government, is currently in Afghanistan, Brothers said, and couldn't make the commencement Saturday, though he was watching from the live stream the college provided on its website.

The master's student with a degree in exercise science said she wasn't sure she'd be able to attend commencement without someone to stay with Quin — but McDaniel made it work, and Quin got to march in, and sit with, Brothers during the ceremony.

Quin spent a lot of Saturday's ceremony playing on the floor in front of the seats, keeping himself entertained. And for Brothers, it was a chance to get to walk across the stage for her degree.

"It feels great," she said.

Hundreds packed onto McDaniel's campus Saturday for the 147th commencement ceremony.

More than 600 degrees were awarded this year, though not all students showed up to graduation — 341 of 382 undergraduates and 142 of 278 master's students walked. The ceremony began at about 10 a.m. Saturday after students processed through a human tunnel of faculty clapping and cheering them into Gill Center.

For Blake Schildhauer, post-graduation doesn't mean an end to school. The Hampstead native and North Carroll High School graduate got her degree in math, with a minor in secondary education.

Schildhauer just signed a contract with Carroll County Public Schools and is hoping to teach at North Carroll Middle School. She said she wants to give back to the community she came from.

"I always wanted to be a teacher ever since I was little," she said.

To begin the ceremony, President Roger Casey rattled off a list of accomplishments for this year's graduating class.

And though they're leaving, Casey asked the graduates to remember McDaniel and wear its gear in pride. He told them to always stay in touch.

"You are McDaniel," Casey told the students.

College historian James Lightner also spoke at Saturday's commencement, relaying an often humorous history to the graduates.

Lightner told the story of a student exploding a toilet, of students streaking through the dining hall.


And while Lightner's stories brought laughter throughout Gill Center, he took time to remind the graduates about what the day was really about.

"I know how much it has taken to bring you to this day," he said. "I wish for all of you graduates health and prosperity."


Commencement awards

•The Argonaut Award — Julia A. Wilson

•The Edith Farr Ridington Writing Award — Cristina Anselma Stockton-Juarez

•The B. Jill Brooks Hodge Professional Development Award — Trisha Leigh Waddell

•The Joan Develin Coley Award for Excellence in Education — Ashleigh N. Rizzo