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The leader of the United States Agency for International Development, Administrator Rajiv Shah, will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary degree at Colby’s 190th commencement ceremonies on May 22. Ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. on the lawn of Miller Library on Colby’s campus in Waterville.

Shah will share the stage with senior class speaker Aleah Starr, a dean’s list English major and education minor from Montpelier, Vt. Elected by members of the graduating class to address the convocation, Starr will teach at a charter school in Jamaica Plain, Mass., next year.

Katelyn Ouimet of Southington, Conn., named class marshal for having the highest grade-point average, will lead 486 members of the Class of 2011 expected to march. Ouimet majored in philosophy with minors in theater and dance and in anthropology.

In addition to Shah, four others will receive honorary Colby doctoral degrees: Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford, sociologist and pioneering African-American studies professor Adelaide Cromwell, Cianbro CEO Peter G. Vigue, and philanthropist Bernard Osher.

The ceremony is open to the public. In the case of rain it will be moved to the Alfond Athletic Center, in which case tickets will be required for admission to the gymnasium. For those unable to attend, a live webcast will be available at on Colby’s site and on Facebook at

A native of Detroit, Shah graduated from the University of Michigan and earned his M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s in health economics from the Wharton School. Shah is the 16th administrator of USAID, which provides economic and humanitarian assistance to deliver meaningful development results for the developing world and to strengthen national and economic security for the American people.

More information about commencement and about Shah are on Colby’s commencement website. Members of the media who need information or wish to arrange an audio feed during the ceremony should contact Ruth Jacobs in the Office of Communications, or 207-649-0748.