Commencement Means Celebration, Transition for Hartwick's Class of 2013May 25, 2013
Saturday, May 25 marked a new chapter in the lives of the members of the Hartwick College Class of 2013. Their parents, families, friends, and College faculty and staff gathered under the gala tent on Elmore Field to celebrate, and it was there that the members of the class made the transition from students to alumni in the culmination of their undergraduate experience.
Despite chilly temperatures and a persistent drizzle of rain, more than 1,000 people convened high atop Oyaron Hill to celebrate the students' accomplishments, to watch them receive their degrees, and to take part in this celebration of transition.
The gala event began as all such Hartwick gatherings do, when President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich held aloft the Hartwick Bell and declared with an enthusiastic ring, "The company of scholars is assembled, let the ceremonies begin!"
Following a performance of The Star Spangled Banner by the Hartwick College Wind Ensemble, Student Senate President Mark Smith '13 and Diane B. Hettinger ‘77, acting chair of the Hartwick Board of Trustees, extended their congratulations to the graduates.
"Our time spent at this institution, the three or four years that we have been blessed with, has been simply magical," Smith said to his classmates. "We have never been followers, so why start now? We haven't, nor will we ever, settle and take the path society laid out for us. Rather, we're going to make our own. With that said, yes, the future is a scary place, but only for those who can't keep up."
"Congratulations, graduates, on your accomplishments Hettinger said, "Enjoy this day, it is yours!"
Hartwick Faculty Chair and Professor of Sociology Dr. Reid Golden presented Ilona van der Ven '13 with the Abraham L. Kellogg Oratorical Prize. In a very close vote, faculty deemed van der Ven the best orator among those students who gave Baccalaureate speeches on Friday evening at The Foothills Performing Arts & Civic Center in Oneonta.
After a performance of David R. Holsinger's Havendance by the Wind Ensemble, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Michael Tannenbaum took the podium to present the Margaret B. Bunn Award for Outstanding Teaching.
The annual award is presented to the faculty member judged by students who graduated five years prior to have been the most outstanding teacher with whom they studied. The 2013 Bunn Award recipient, Tannenbaum announced, is Associate Professor of Art & Art History Dr. Douglas Zullo.
Zullo arrive at Hartwick in 2005 as an Assistant Professor of Art History. He received his B.A. in History of Art from Baldwin-Wallace College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011.
"Contemporary art, one of his specialties, can provoke controversy," Tannenbaum said. "Doug particularly values classroom discussions ‘in which nearly every student participates and in which students disagree with one another in a civilized manner that keeps momentum going.'"
In retaking the podium, Drugovich conferred Honorary Degrees upon Deepak Chopra, M.D. H'13, James J. Elting M.D. H'13, and Judy Brick Freedman H'13.
"Your visionary commitment to study and promote the mind-body health connection has had an immeasurable impact on persons across the world," she said of Chopra. "The lives of individuals who needed the aid of your good advice and inspiration have been changed for good because of your personal effort. A trained physician, you explored the traditions of many cultures to develop a holistic and person-centered approach to health. Few physicians can match the depth and breadth of your influence on the welfare of millions."
Accepting the posthumously-awarded honorary degree on behalf of Elting was his wife, Karen.
"Gifted doctor, generous philanthropist, steadfast friend, and loyal guardian of Hartwick College, today our community gathers to honor Dr. James Elting for his service to the College, and to the medical and healing professions," Drugovich said. "Jim understood the transformative power of a Hartwick education. He embodied the mission - ever more curious, ever more creative, a tireless learner."
Drugovich presented Freedman, a longtime supporter of experiential learning and collaborative research at Hartwick, with an honorary Doctor of Letters.
"Your deep understanding of the power of transformative learning is demonstrated by your longstanding support of the students and faculty of Hartwick College," Drugovich said. "Your generosity has inspired a generation, and the entire Hartwick community of scholars."
Honorary degrees conferred, Drugovich introduced Chopra, the internationally-renowned doctor who would address the Class of 2013 on "The Future of Leadership."
Chopra is the Founder and Chairman of the Chopra Foundation, and Founder and Chairman of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California. He is known as a prolific author of more than 70 books, including 21 New York Times bestsellers on mind-body health, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Chopra's books have been published in more than 80 languages in both fiction and non-fiction.
"Biological evolution has been summed up in the phrase of ‘survival of the fittest', but with overpopulation and overconsumption of resources, the future belongs to ‘survival of the wisest,'" he told the assembled crowd. "It is imperative for the future of humanity that wisdom becomes the new criterion for sustainable life on this planet. And wisdom is that knowledge that nurtures life in all its dimensions not only for us but also for the generations that follow us."
"Today, I ask you my young friends, you who are the future hope of humanity, you who are the future leaders of the world; today, I ask you what Mahatma Gandhi once asked, ‘Can you be the change you want to see in the world?'," Chopra continued.
"Finally today, more than any other day, remember to be grateful. Gratitude opens the door to abundant consciousness. Express your gratitude today particularly to your parents, teachers and fellow students, all who have helped bring you to this threshold of life. You are now ready to embark on the hero's journey, the hero's quest. Good luck and God speed."
At the conclusion of Chopra's remarks, Hartwick's Not So Sharp a capella ensemble performed Find my Way by The Gabe Dixon Band and Home by Phillip Phillips.
Tannenbaum then presented the Class of 2013 to the crowd. In the central moment of the ceremony, Drugovich presented each with a degree, much to the delight of the graduates and their assembled friends and family.
With degrees conferred, Kaitlyn Mae McLean '13 presented the class gift. Seniors, their families and friends made gifts to the College, which will be used to establish the Class of 2013 Scholarship. The four-year award will be presented to an incoming first-year student based on need.
"Congratulations, Class of 2013, we are finally here!" she said. "Many of us would not be here today without scholarships. In fact, that was the deciding factor when I chose to come to Hartwick. What that scholarship provided for me was more than an affordable education, it gave me - and many of you - four years at Hartwick, with experiences we would not have had anywhere else.
Neal Miller '72, President of the Hartwick College Alumni Association, welcomed the new alumni to the 17,500-strong body.
"Congratulations, graduates," he said. "You have worked long and hard to arrive at this point in your journey, and you are to be commended. When you look upon your Hartwick Commencement Bell in years to come, remember your enduring connection as classmates, friends, scholars, and keepers of the proud Hartwick legacy."
As he led the class in a ceremonial ringing of replica bells provided by the Alumni Association, the tent filled with the joyous noise of the new alumni.
"Members of the Class of 2013, you leave Hartwick an educated woman, and educated man," Drugovich said in her closing remarks. "You may have traveled across the world. You may have done a remarkable thing or two. You have probably learned more than you expected, and perhaps even more than you thought possible."
She led the class in thanking both their parents and their faculty and staff, noting that all had helped the graduates achieve this important milestone in their lives.
Following a performance of the Alma Mater, Oyaron, Hill of Dreams, by the Hartwick College Wind Ensemble and vocalist Sean Carpenter '13 conducted by John Tomlinson ‘13, the graduates left the expansive tent behind the celebratory march of the Broome County Celtic Pipes and Drums, proceeding into the waiting arms of their proud families, toward their bright futures as Hartwick College alumni.
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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable
Contact: Christopher Lott