Mary Baldwin University will hold its 173rd Commencement exercises at 10 a.m. May 17 on the Barbara Kares Page Terrace. The keynote speaker is Christian Peele ’05, director of stewardship and development at The Riverside Church in New York City.
In the event of bad weather, the ceremony will be moved to 10:30 a.m. at Expoland in Fishersville.
Here are 8 things you should know about the big event:
- This year, 362 students will graduate from Mary Baldwin.*
- The theme for the Class of 2015, chosen for their freshman year, is “Pearls of Wisdom,” and the class colors are green and white.
- Graduates include 152 in the Residential College for Women, 109 in the Baldwin Online and Adult Programs and 101 students in Mary Baldwin’s graduate programs (76 in the Graduate Teacher Education program and 25 in the Shakespeare and Performance program).*
- The senior class is giving to the college a 14-inch, 44-pound bronze bell inscribed with a line from “A Hymn for Mary Baldwin:” To these halls where wisdom reckons. Designed by Kahler Slater architects — the same firm that designed Mary Baldwin’s new Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences — the structure that holds the bell is located in front of the administration building. Students are invited to ring the bell at the post-Commencement reception, starting a new campus tradition.
- Commencement speaker Christian Peele ’05 is familiar with reaching milestones at a young age. Barely past her 14th birthday when she entered Mary Baldwin’s Program for the Exceptionally Gifted in 2001, Peele became the youngest person to earn a master of divinity from Duke University Divinity School at age 20. Not long after, she embarked on the first of two positions on President Obama’s White House staff, and she recently shifted careers to oversee development activities at one of New York City’s premier churches.
- The oldest graduate from the class of 2015 is Baldwin Online and Adult Programs student Sally Beachy, 69. The youngest is Jennifer Jin, 16, who is enrolled in Mary Baldwin’s Program for the Exceptionally Gifted.
- Former chair of the Mary Baldwin Board of Trustees Margaret E. “Lyn” McDermid ’95 will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters. McDermid joined the Federal Reserve Bank as chief information officer (CIO) in 2013. Most recently, McDermid served as Senior Vice President and CIO at Dominion Resources, a Richmond-based Fortune 500 energy company.
- The ceremony will be streamed online at go.marybaldwin.edu/live for those who cannot attend. The live stream will also be available for viewing inside James D. Francis Auditorium, and, if the ceremony is moved to Expoland for bad weather, it will be shown in the annex building.
*As of May 13