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Everything you need to know for Commencement 2017

Gettysburg College will hold its 182nd Commencement—rain or shine—during a May 21st ceremony that will take place on the Beachem Portico on the north side of Pennsylvania Hall at 11 a.m.

Graduates and their families can access all things Commencement, such as the complete schedule and information for graduates, on the 2017 Commencement webpage. Additionally, specific information for graduates and their families is provided with a unique webpage for each, along with information pertaining to the Baccalaureate ceremony and other Commencement-related events.

New this year—an internet-based Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) service will be available, allowing anyone to see the closed-caption transcription in real time on any wireless device that can access the Internet. Portions of the program will also be translated into various languages and will be made available to guests upon request.

Additional information about accessibility during the ceremony—including parking and shuttle services—can be found on the Commencement accessibility webpage.

You can join the Commencement conversation on social media with #gburg2017. The Commencement ceremony will be livestreamed, and indoor viewing locations set up in Masters Hall’s Mara Auditorium, Brua Hall’s Kline Theater, and College Union Building room 260.

A Special Commencement ceremony for senior members of the Women’s Lacrosse team—which will also be livestreamed—will take place on Thursday, May 18. Professor of Biology Matthew Kittelberger will deliver the keynote address at the Special Commencement ceremony.

Educator, museum professional, and humanitarian Johnnetta Betsch Cole will deliver the keynote Commencement speech, and will receive an honorary degree during the Sunday ceremony.

Honorary degrees will also be conferred to President of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg Michael Cooper-White, and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Chairman of Vaccines Dr. Moncef Slaoui, during the Sunday ceremony. Trustee Emeritus David LeVan ’68 will be presented with the Lavern H. Brenneman Award for Exemplary Volunteer Service to Gettysburg College.

Mathematical economics major and business minor Haya Mohanna ’17 will speak on behalf of the graduating class.

The Gettysburg College Award for Distinguished Teaching will also be presented during the Sunday ceremony.

Following the ceremony, light refreshments will be served in the College Union Building and the Dining Center.

Pictures taken by the College will be posted on the website and social media platforms. GradImages will also be taking pictures during the ceremony. Students and their families can pre-register to receive a notification when those pictures are available to review and purchase.

About Johnnetta Betsch Cole

Cole has had a long and distinctive career as an educator, museum professional, and humanitarian. She most recently served as the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, a position from which she retired in March 2017. She is a member of the Scholarly Advisory Board for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Most notably, Cole is known for being the first African American woman to serve as the president of Spelman College. She also served as the president of Bennett College for Women.

She has authored several books and numerous articles. With Beverly Guy-Sheftall, she wrote Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women’s Equality in African American Communities.

Through her work as a college president, university professor and through her published works, speeches, community service and consultations with corporations and not-for-profit organizations, Cole consistently addresses racial, gender, and other forms of inequality.

In recognition of Cole’s many achievements, she has 64 honorary degrees and is the recipient of numerous awards. In 2010, Ebony Magazine listed her among the 100 most influential African Americans, in 2011 Washingtonian Magazine listed her among Washington, DC’s most powerful women and in 2015 BET (Black Entertainment Television) awarded her the BET Honors award for education.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Kasey Varner '14, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6806

Posted: Mon, 15 May 2017

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