|Date: May 21, 2000
Contact: Alicia MacLeay
Phone: (207) 872-3220
Justice Marshall Addresses Colby Class of 2000
In a commencement address on Sunday at Colby College, Margaret H. Marshall, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, told the 481 graduating seniors, "Not only can you, as one individual, make a difference in your own country, you can do so across boundaries of geography and culture. I believe that profoundly because of what I experienced in the country where I grew up, South Africa."
"What matters is not to be discouraged, to know that a small act, a single gesture can make a difference," she said, recalling how acts that seemed insignificant at the time helped to end Apartheid. "May each of you find your moment to stand up for an ideal, to improve the lot of others, to strike out against injustice. May you live lives of integrity and goodness."
Ryan M. Jennerich of Morganville, N.J., this years valedictorian and class marshal, led the procession of seniors in Colbys 179th commencement. Students, applauded by classmates, professors and families, individually received diplomas and congratulations from retiring Colby President William R. Cotter.
Erik D. Bowie of Carbondale, Colo., was elected by his classmates to address the convocation as the senior class speaker. Bowie entertained the crowd, saying he would miss three meals a day, a roof over his head and his extra long twin bed with sheets that dont fit.
Cotter awarded Colbys Randall J. Condon Medal, the only prize presented at commencement, to Rebecca B. Solomon of Queensbury, N.Y. Her classmates and the faculty voted to honor her with the award for constructive citizenship. Solomon served as director of the Colby Volunteer Center, which coordinates hundreds of students who volunteer in more than a dozen programs the community.
Cotter and his wife, Linda K. Cotter, who retire at the end of June after having served the college for 21 years, received honorary doctoral degrees at the ceremony. Honorary degrees also were presented to Marshall, African-American art authority David C. Driskell and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder.