186th Commencement Ceremony
Four-hundred sixty-seven members of Colby’s Class of 2007 received bachelors’ degrees at Colby’s 186th Commencement on Sunday, May 27. Senior Class Speaker Kate Braemer, of Philadelphia, Pa., said the last four years had been all about challenge, and she told her classmates, “Colby has taught us not to hold back.”
Nobel economist Thomas Schelling, the Commencement speaker, celebrated almost 62 years since the first and last nuclear weapons were used. “To my generation,” he said, “finishing the 20th century without any further use of nuclear weapons is plain unbelievable.” Then he said the nuclear threat may not be the biggest concern of the next 62 years. “If you want to give me another honorary degree next year, I’ll be happy to come back and talk about global warming,” he concluded.
Honorary doctoral degrees were awarded to Schelling; John Barth, the writer; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a distinguished visiting fellow from the Brookings Institution and former finance minister of Nigeria; jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins; and Adam D. Weinberg, director of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Ivica Petrikova, of Bratislava, Slovakia, class marshal and valedictorian, led the procession of seniors.
Ashley Anne Hunt, of Winnetka, Ill., received the only prize traditionally awarded at commencement, the Randall J. Condon Medal. The Condon Medal is awarded to the member of the senior class who embodies the finest qualities of constructive citizenship.
President William D. Adams presented degrees under sunny skies on the lawn in front of Colby’s Miller Library before a throng of families and friends of the graduates. Members of the Class of 2007 hailed from 37 countries and 36 states.
Braemer thanked the parents and mentors who helped her and her classmates on “the migration from bumbling children to quasi-mature adults.” Introduced as the woman who won both the chainsaw and single-buck events against all men at the North East regional woodsmen’s team meet this year, Braemer reflected on the changes that four years at Colby had wrought among the graduates. “I had no idea I would be trading in my chain-link bracelets for chainsaws and my cardigans for Carhartts.”