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Robert E. Diamond Jr., Colby Class of 1973, president of London-based Barclays PLC, will deliver Colby’s commencement address on Sunday, May 25, just weeks before his company opens a customer care center that initially will bring 50 jobs to Wilton, Maine.
Diamond, who majored in economics at Colby, is the architect of strategies that have produced record performances for Barclays through Barclays Capital, Barclays Global Investors and Barclays Wealth. He became a member of Colby’s board of trustees in 1993, and he visits the state regularly. His connection to Maine deepens this fall when his youngest child, Charlie, enrolls as a member of Colby’s Class of 2012.
Members of the Class of 2008, 522 strong, will receive their diplomas following speeches by Diamond and Patrick Sanders ’08, the student-elected class speaker.
Sanders, a double major in English and in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, is from Fairfax, Va., and has been involved in many activities and committees at Colby. He served on the Academic Affairs and as Educational Policy committees of the board of trustees. A four-year varsity letterman on the swimming and diving team, Sanders won many awards, including being named to the All-NESCAC Academic Team and receiving the Founders Prize for academic excellence and commitment to the activist roots of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Colby.
Leading the procession of seniors will be Cristian Vesa ’08, the valedictorian and class marshal. Vesa, of Arad, Romania, received the honor for finishing the fall semester with the highest grade point average in the class. He majored in physics and mathematics.
Four people in addition to Diamond will receive honorary degrees: astronaut Sunita Williams, television writer-producer David Simon, energy expert Amory Lovins, and art historian Gabriella De Ferrari.
Commencement 2008 will be Colby’s first Green Graduation. Alaina Clark ’08 developed the idea as part of a senior project, and the College has worked for months to implement new sustainability initiatives. Among them: minimizing the use of plastics, reducing electricity use, increasing composting, serving sustainable foods, using 100-percent recycled products, and reducing paper use. The Green Team, a group of Colby students and employees, will staff information tables and assist visitors with composting and other greening efforts at events.
The ceremony, which is open to the public, will take place at 10 a.m. on the lawn in front of Miller Library. In the case of rain, it will be moved to the gymnasium of the Alfond Athletic Center, in which case tickets will be required. For those unable to attend, a live Webcast will be available at www.colby.edu/commencement.