16 Things to Know about Commencement 2018

May 16, 2018

1. The 176th Commencement Ceremony

10 a.m. May 20 on the Barbara Kares Page Terrace. Check out marybaldwin.edu/commencement for more.

Be there for the biggest MBU celebration of the year!

2. Keynote Speaker Lynn Pasquerella

Dr. Lynn Pasquerella is set to give the address for MBU’s 176th Commencement. President of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, philosopher, teacher, former president of Mount Holyoke College, and advisory board member for the Newman’s Own Foundation are some highlights of Pasquerella’s distinguished career. 

“I am truly honored to be addressing the graduates of the class of 2018 at Mary Baldwin.”
Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, Commencement Speaker

3. Just in Case …

In the event of bad weather, the ceremony will move to 10:30 a.m. at the James Madison University Convocation Center in Harrisonburg. The decision will be made at approximately 6 a.m. Sunday, and a web alert will be posted on marybaldwin.edu.

4. Live Stream the Ceremony

If you can’t attend, watch the proceedings at marybaldwin.edu/live. (Both the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences Hooding Ceremony and the main MBU Commencement ceremony will be available.)

5. First Degrees

MBU will grant two degrees for the first time: the master of business administration and the master of science in physician assistant.  

6. The Theme of ’18

Their class theme — a tradition for MBU undergraduates, chosen at the start of their freshman year — is “Deep Roots, Bold Future,” and their class colors are scarlet and gold.

7. Young and Old

The oldest 2018 graduate is Patricia Haskins, who is graduating with a BA in business at the age of 73. “I feel really good about earning my BA, and the best part about it is that I don’t have to worry about finding a job after graduation,” she said. Lifelong learning never goes to waste: she’s using her skills as finance manager at her church.

“I hope that I can be an example for another daring senior citizen. Education has no age limit.”
Patricia Haskins, MBU's oldest 2018 graduate

The youngest member of the class of 2018 is 17-year-old Program for the Exceptionally Gifted student Carter Anderson. She’ll earn her BA in criminal justice and history. “She has done a FABULOUS thesis,” said Carter’s advisor Professor Beth Easterling. Carter has been accepted to the MFA program in creative writing at Kingston University in London, England.

8. With Sparkling Personality

“I plan to work in the field of social work in different areas of focus to develop new skill sets and expand my horizons.”
Imani Chestnut ’18

Imani Chestnut is graduating with a major in social work and a minor in communications. But she did not stop there at MBU. Imani brought her enthusiasm to positions across campus — peer advisor, secretary of the Social Work Club, public outreach coordinator for Latinas Unidas, a tutor and mentor for communications students, social media intern for the Staunton Downtown Development Association, and the list goes on. Up next: she’s taking a gap year to explore the social work field, and later pursue her master’s degree. 

9. Summer Fellowship

Political science major and campus leader Diamonique Anderson has been selected as a highly-competitive Moton Fellow at the Gloucester Institute this summer. This fellowship gives her the opportunity for one-on-one coaching and mentoring from leading experts and practitioners in business, government, and nonprofit organizations. Her long-term plans are to pursue her MBA and work in the nonprofit sector and public policy.

10. PEG Runs in the Family

2018 graduate Marianna Moynihan is the fourth member of her family to come to Mary Baldwin through the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted, joining older cousins Maureen ’04 and Colleen ’05 and older sister Mikhaila ’14. A theatre and psychology double major, Marianna will earn an honors degree. After graduation, she will work as a psychiatric nursing assistant, and later plans to pursue graduate studies in neuroscience and creative therapy.

11. Peace Corps Volunteer

Deja Slaughter ‘18, a criminal justice honor student graduating this year, will join the Peace Corps after graduation to teach in Indonesia, carrying the changemaker spirit beyond her time at Mary Baldwin.  

12. Off to Medical School

Zindzi Thompson, part of the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted at MBU, is going to medical school at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, after graduation. She starts next month. Oh, and she’s 17 years old.

13. MBU Perseverance

65-year-old Ruby Machi returned to Mary Baldwin last summer after 34 years to finish her BA in political science. She did it in three semesters and cum laude. Ruby’s advisor Virginia Trovato said “Her original transcripts did not even exist in the computer system only in paper files! The registrar’s office and faculty worked very hard to get her connected to the new curriculum requirements.”

14. Triple Congratulations

Elise Marston is graduating from MBU with her bachelor of social work and has a job lined up as a clinical support specialist at UMFS in South Hill. She’s also expecting her second child, a baby sister for her 2-and-a-half year-old son, in July.   

“I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to go back to school for my bachelor’s, and I could not have done this without MBU. The faculty is nothing short of amazing, and I'm so thankful for my experience!”
Elise Marston '18

15. From Saudi Arabia to Staunton

An international student from Saudi Arabia, Khalid Alruwaili followed in his two older brothers’ footsteps at MBU, earning his degree in healthcare administration. Plus he triple minored in Asian studies, sociology, and business. His younger brother, Naif, is also an MBU student.

16. Let’s do the numbers!

Mary Baldwin College for Women = 123

Online and Distance Learning Programs = 163

College of Education  = 47 (24 Master of Arts in Teaching and 23 Master of Education)

Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences = 98 (33 Doctor of Occupational Therapy; 32 Doctor of Physical Therapy; and 33 Master of Science in Physician Assistant)

Shakespeare & Performance = 29 (14 Master of Letters and 15 Master of Fine Arts)

Master of Business Administration = 7

Total MBU graduates for 2018 = 484

*as of 5/10/18

Congratulations, MBU grads!