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Mount Holyoke's 166th Commencement Set for Sunday

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May 23 , 2003

Mount Holyoke’s 166th Commencement Set for Sunday

Class emblem design
by Kara Bergeron ’03

If you like nonstop activity, Mount Holyoke will be the place to be between May 22 and May 25. While commencement, set for Sunday, May 25, at 10:30 am in Gettell Amphitheater, will be the icing on the cake, the days that precede the awarding of diplomas will be several layers thick with receptions, open houses, worship services, concerts, parties, and tours. Commencement activities begin Thursday, May 22, with Canoe Sing rehearsal at the Canoe House, a barbecue for seniors at the president’s house, and “Unplugged Perspectives,” billed as a “final lecture” during which three different topics pertaining to MHC life will be addressed by faculty and students. That event will be held in Pratt Hall. Events planned for Friday range from a horticultural walking tour of campus to a commencement concert to a senior slide show.

Saturday will include an old- fashioned community picnic,
baccalaureate, fireworks over Lower Lake, and Canoe Sing on Upper Lake, a tradition originally called Senior Serenade that dates to 1911. Saturday also brings the much-loved alumnae parade and laurel chain ceremony. At 9 am (lineup is at 8 am), a marching band will accompany alumnae and students from Woolley Circle to Mary Lyon’s grave for a ceremony led by Alumnae Association President Karen M. Hendricks ’76. The class of 2003 will carry a garland of laurel, a plant that was a symbol of honor, achievement, glory, prophecy, and inspiration in antiquity. More than one hundred years ago, students paid tribute to College founder Mary Lyon by placing two wreaths of mountain laurel and forget-me-nots at her grave while singing “Holyoke, Tried and True.” In 1902, students walked to the grave carrying laurel formed into a chain, a practice that has become one of the College’s most cherished commencement traditions. Parade participants will wear white dresses to show solidarity with the suffragettes who wore white when campaigning for women’s right to vote. They will sing “Bread and Roses,” a poem-turned-song that was taken up by strikers demanding reasonable hours and pay at a textile mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1912.

Saturday’s baccalaureate speakers will be faculty members Lee Bowie, professor of philosophy and incoming dean of the College, and Amy Martin, assistant professor of English and a faculty member in the Critical Social Thought Program, and Kelsey K. Hambley ’03.

Presiding at the commencement exercises on Sunday will be President Joanne V. Creighton. Five hundred eighty-five seniors, making up one of the largest graduating classes in the College’s history, are expected to receive degrees during Mount Holyoke’s 166th commencement ceremonies in the amphitheater. In the event of rain, the event will be held in the Kendall Field House.
Judy Blume, whose novels that center around real issues in her young readers’ lives have made her one of the best-loved authors of this century, will deliver the commencement address. She will receive the degree of doctor of fine arts from the College. Blume will be joined by four other honorary degree recipients: Jane Famiano Garvey, the former administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, who received a master’s degree from Mount Holyoke in 1969; Nancy Woodward Hendrie ’54, a pediatrician and founder of an organization to assist orphaned and homeless children in Cambodia; James A. Joseph, the former United States ambassador to South Africa; and Amartya Sen, the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in economics.

Delivering the student address at commencement will be Chiara D. Fuller ’03. Among the graduates will be forty-one Frances Perkins Scholars, enrolled through the College’s program for women of nontraditional age who wish to complete the requirements for a bachelor of arts degree. In addition, four graduates of the College’s Postbaccalaureate Studies Program will receive their degrees, two students will receive master’s degrees, and nineteen students will receive certificates through the International Guest Student program.

Honorary Degree Recipients

Commencement speaker Judy Blume

Judy Blume, Doctor of Fine Arts
Judy Blume has written twenty-two books, including three best-selling novels for adults. Her books have won more than ninety awards in the United States and abroad and have been translated into twenty-six languages. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret was included on the New York Times list of Outstanding Books of the Year in 1970, the first of many citations for Blume’s work. In 1996 she received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Library Association. Blume has written for young children (Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Superfudge, Fudge-a-mania), middle-grade children (Blubber, It’s Not the End of the World, Just as Long as We’re Together), and young adults (Tiger Eyes, Forever). The Fudge books have been adapted for television, and she is currently at work on other TV adaptations of her novels. Blume received a B.S. in education from New York University in 1961, which named her a Distinguished Alumna in 1996. She is the founder and trustee of The Kids Fund, a charitable and educational foundation, and serves on the boards of the Author’s Guild; the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, for which she sponsors an award for contemporary fiction; and the National Coalition Against Censorship, working to protect intellectual freedom.

Jane Famiano Garvey ’69

Jane Famiano Garvey ’69
Doctor of Humane Letters

Jane Garvey is the executive vice president and chairman of the transportation practice at APCO, a global communications consultancy. She is also a lecturer and research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Transportation and Logistics.

Garvey has had a long and distinguished career in transportation administration. In 1997, after four years with the Federal Highway Administration, she served as the first-ever five-term administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. During her tenure there, she successfully managed both the Y2K preparedness program and the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. She also initiated Safer Skies, the U.S. aviation community’s safety agenda. Under her leadership, the FAA moved forward on its plan to modernize the air traffic control system. Before being named FAA administrator, Garvey was acting administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). She served as deputy administrator of FHWA from April 1993 until February 1997.

Garvey’s numerous awards include the National Air Transportation Association’s Distinguished Service Award, the National Council of Public-Private Partnerships Leadership Award, and the Woman of the Year Award from both the Women’s Transportation Seminar and Women in Politics. She earned a master’s degree in English instruction at Mount Holyoke in 1969 and later taught English and history at South Hadley High School.

Nancy Woodward Hendrie ’54

Nancy Woodward Hendrie ’54, Doctor of Science
In 1994, after working as a pediatrician in Concord and Carlisle for more than twenty-six years, Dr. Nancy W. Hendrie left private practice and began working in Asian orphanages. She later started her own adoption agency, Adopt Cambodia, which has placed Cambodian infants and children with more than 200 New England families. In 1998, Hendrie founded The Sharing Foundation (TSF), to assist orphaned and homeless children in Cambodia. TSF has also built two schools and rehabilitated another, where it continues to provide supplies. In 1999, TSF established a large rural farming project that provides food and income to thirty-four of the poorest families of Thom village, including 107 children, and set up an English teaching program for more than 300 children. In 2002, Hendrie was recognized by the Middlesex Central District of the Massachusetts Medical Society as a Community Clinician of the Year, an award that recognizes practitioners who have made significant contributions to patients and their communities.

James A. Joseph

James A. Joseph,
Doctor of Humane Letters

Ambassador James Joseph is professor of the practice of public policy studies and executive director of the United States-Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values at Duke University. Nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the United States Senate in December 1995, he was the first and only American ambassador to present his credentials to President Nelson Mandela. In 1999, President Thabo Mbeki awarded him the Order of Good Hope, the highest honor the Republic of South Africa bestows on a citizen of another country.

Joseph has had a distinguished career in government, business, education, and philanthropy. He has served four United States presidents. He was appointed to the number two position in the Department of the Interior by President Carter and also served as chairman of the Commission on the Northern Marianas. He was a member of the Advisory Committee to the Agency for International Development under President Reagan and was appointed an incorporating director of the Points of Light Foundation and a member of the Board of Advisers on Historically Black Colleges of President George H. W. Bush. President Clinton appointed him the first chairman of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National Service.

Amartya Senh

Amartya Sen, Doctor of Laws
Amartya Sen is master of Trinity College, Cambridge, UK, and Lamont University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. He has served as president of the Econometric Society, the Indian Econometric Association, the American Economic Association, and the International Economic Association. He is also honorary adviser of OXFAM. Before joining Harvard in 1987, he was the Drummond Professor of Political Economy at Oxford University and a fellow of All Souls College. Before that, he was professor of economics at Delhi University and at the London School of Economics. Sen has received honorary doctorates from major universities in North America, Europe, and Asia. Among the awards he has received are the Bharat Ratna (the highest honor awarded by the president of India), the Presidency of the Italian Republic Medal, the Eisenhower Medal, and the Nobel Prize in Economics.


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