Lewis & Clark’s 144th Commencement

Welcome honored guests, the 144th Annual Commencement
of Lewis & Clark College will now come to order. Please rise as you are able for the national
anthem and invocation. [Star Spangled Banner] Gracious God, we give thanks for this joyous
afternoon that unites us in celebration with those who become Lewis & Clark College graduates
today. As the members of the Class of 2017 reach
this milestone, may they be reminded of the many accomplishments they have experienced
over these college years, and may their gratitude abound for everything that the pursuit of
knowledge has made possible in their lives. May each one commence today with an enduring
passion to achieve their highest potential and as they mature in heart, mind, and soul,
may they stand tall in our world as beacons of hope. We give thanks on this day for families and
friends, for teachers and mentors, for all those who have challenged, encouraged, and
cared for us. As we consider with gratitude the blessings
of past and present, may each of us gathered here today go forth with a renewed spirit
of openness and optimism for the future which lies ahead. As we are blessed, may we in turn aspire to
inspire those around us and may all our days be sustained by love, guided by wisdom, and
empowered by hope. Amen. Good morning, let’s have one more round
of applause for our musicians, the Montavilla Brass and the Senior Choir under the direction
of Katherine FitzGibbon, Associate Professor of Music. President Ellis, members of the Board of Trustees,
distinguished colleagues, respected staff, proud parents, family and friends of those
students graduating today, and of course, the Class of 2017, I’m Catherine Gunther
Kodat, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and it gives me great pleasure to welcome
all of you to the 144th Annual Commencement Ceremony of Lewis & Clark’s College of Arts
and Sciences. Please let me acknowledge a few members of
our community as we begin. I want to thank the many faculty and staff
members who work so diligently and effectively to create this joyous event. It’s my pleasure to welcome Mr. Scott Dubchansky,
Chair of the Board of Trustees and other trustees and executive officers. I would like to take this moment to recognize
some of our faculty members. Elizabeth Safran, Associate Professor of Geological
Science, was selected by our students this year as the professor of the year. Dr. Deborah Heath, Associate Professor
of Anthropology, received the David Savage Award, which is given to a faculty member
whose vision and sustained service to the college have advanced the general academic
and intellectual welfare of our community. The award memorializes the selfless ethic
of service demonstrated over the years by the late Dr. David Savage: a model of inspirational
leadership, tireless support, and genuine respect for his colleagues. I wish to thank Debra Beers, Senior Lecturer
in Art and Program Head of Drawing, Curtis Johnson, Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Professor of Government, and Tatyana Osipovich,
Associate Professor of Russian, who are retiring this year. These faculty members have given devoted service
to the college over many years. They inspire us all to live up to the standards
of passionate teaching, probing scholarship, and tireless enthusiasm for the mission and
the people of Lewis & Clark that their careers have exemplified. Lastly, I ask you to join me in
honoring two beloved members of the faculty who were abruptly and tragically lost to us
this year. Associate Professor of Physics, Shannon T.
O’Leary joined the faculty in 2011. Her husband, Dr. Adam Clausen also taught
in our physics department. During their time at Lewis & Clark, Dr. O’Leary
and Dr. Clausen won the love and admiration of students, faculty, and staff. They are sorely missed but we remember them. Please join me in a moment of silence in their
memory. It is now my honor to introduce Lewis & Clark’s
Interim President, David Ellis. President Ellis has led Lewis & Clark since
January of this year. He served as Vice President, Secretary to
the Board, and General Counsel for the past 13 years, having previously served as Associate
Dean and Director of Business Law Programs at Lewis & Clark Law School. For the past two years, President Ellis has
taught higher education law for the master’s degree program in student affairs administration
at Lewis & Clark’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Over the past decade, President Ellis has
served as a member of the United Educators Legal Advisory Board, the National Association
of Independent Colleges and Universities Legal Advisory Board, as Board Chair and member
of the Advisory Board of Hoyt Arboretum Friends, on the City of Portland’s Economic Development
Policy Expert Group, and on a variety of advisory committees concerning land use regulation
of colleges, universities, and hospitals in Portland. Honored guests, the President of Lewis & Clark
College, David Ellis. Thank you, Dean Kodat. I go off script every once in awhile and I’m
gonna do that right now. I want to thank Dean Kodat for her service
to Lewis & Clark College. I think you know that she is leaving us at
the end of this year to pursue her career in the east, closer to her family. She’s been a tremendous colleague, a close
friend, and she’ll be dearly missed. Good afternoon, students. Welcome everyone to our faculty, trustees,
parents, friends, staff; this is a great event. I’m so excited to be here and to be looking
out at the Class of 2017. We’re here to cheer you on. The many flags behind me stand
as a small measure of the international reach of your class. They attest that our graduating class is made
up of the knowledge, perspectives, culture, and lived experiences of 43 of the world’s
nations. This is important today. My wish for you, Class of 2017, is that you
will continue to build on these collective perspectives and experiences in your own lives
and that you will share them freely with others. You will benefit from them and they will benefit
from knowing you. Your generation is inheriting from mine some
challenging issues. Some of the problems seem existential, they
may seem insurmountable, but because I know you, I have hope. We have hope. You’re up to the challenge, I know you are. I truly believe it starts with love and it
expands with curiosity. It advances with perseverance and succeeds
with empathy and a commitment to equity and justice. You have achieved so much: examples abound. I can’t even start to list them all, but a
couple: You’ve introduced sustainable oyster aquaculture in Senegal, and in Uganda you
will soon be teaching former child soldiers how to farm. Here at home, you’ve juggled the academic
demands of a rigorous education while making lifelong friends. You’ve stayed up all night to study and
sometimes not to study. You’ve written journalism, poetry, short
stories, created and played music, created art that defines you and defines us and our
shared experiences. You’ve looked at life inside and out, learned
the histories of civilizations and gazed the heavens considering it’s vastness and the
meaning of life. You’ve worked in the laboratories on cutting-edge
research and learned languages of the world. You’ve competed, which means you’ve also
lost and hopefully won, but learned it’s about the journey. You’ve explored the context of the human
condition through scientific, historical, cultural, philosophical, and spiritual lenses. This context will allow you to pioneer advances
in the fields of knowledge known and not even known to us today. Most importantly, it will lead you to live
meaningful lives of hope, peace, love, and fulfillment. Here’s the thing: you leave here today possessing
the abilities of curiosity and capacity to make a positive change in the world. Your professors and mentors have worked with
you to ensure that you are ready, including ways you may not even recognize. This college has taught you things that will
fortify you many times over in the years ahead. We’re here to celebrate you. Soon, Dean Kodat will read the charge to the
class and I have a wish or two for you as well: I wish that you will stay in touch with
your college. Stay in touch with us: with your professors,
with your mentors, those of us you’ve gotten to know, with the many friends you’ve made
at the college; that you’ll be active in your alumni association, that you’ll be
evermore involved in the life of Lewis & Clark. For through you and your help we will fortify
future generations. There is no better evidence of the relevance
of Lewis & Clark than you. My wish for you is also that you will take
what you have learned and experienced here, take it into the world, so that when problems
arise, you will offer solutions and that you will approach the loves and works of your
lives with the zest, curiosity, and awe that we have all seen. This is your life. Make it your own and whatever you may do and
always be alert to the muse of serendipity. You leave here today with the capacity to
do all of this and more and to do it with compassion, integrity, and grace. I congratulate you, Class of 2017. I give you my love, our love, and all good
wishes. Thank you. It is my great privilege and pleasure to introduce
our commencement speaker, Michele Norris. Before I do so, I would like to thank the
members of the Commencement Speaker Selection Committee, who more than a year ago began
the process of identifying and securing this year’s commencement speaker. The selection of the commencement speaker
is no easy task, for it is not enough that the honored recipient have the gift of eloquence:
he or she must also embody the highest ideals of the college. I can think of no one who better upholds Lewis
& Clark’s ideals of fearless exploration, lifelong learning, and selfless public service
than Michele Norris. We are honored to have her here with us today
and I am deeply honored to introduce her to you. A native of Minnesota, Ms. Norris graduated
from Washburn High School in Minneapolis and then matriculated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
where she began her undergraduate education majoring in electrical engineering. After transferring to the University of Minnesota,
she changed her major to journalism and mass communication and we are, all of us, the richer
for it. While a student, she wrote for The Minnesota
Daily and then worked for a time for the Minneapolis CBS affiliate, WCCO, before returning to newspaper
journalism. In the early years of her career, she worked
as a staff reporter for the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington
Post. It was while she was at the Post that Ms.
Norris won the 1990 Livingston Award for a series of articles describing the life of
a six year old boy who lived in a crackhouse with his addicted mother. Those articles have since been re-printed
in an edition of Carol J. Verburg’s Ourselves Among Others: a cross-cultural collection
of essays whose contributors have also included Annie Dillard, Vaclav Havel, and Nelson Mandela. From 1993 to 2002, Ms. Norris was a reporter
for ABC News where she earned Emmy and Peabody awards for her coverage of the 9/11 attacks
on the World Trade Center. She joined National Public Radio’s All Things
Considered in 2002 and in doing so, became the first African-American woman to host a
program on NPR. Her years at NPR have been studded with accolades. In 2006, she received a National Association
of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Award for her coverage of Hurricane Katrina. During the 2008 Presidential Campaign, she
co-hosted NPR’s Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate and held a series of public
conversations with voters on race and politics. For that series she and co-host Steve Inskeep
of NPR’s Morning Edition, won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for excellence
in broadcasting. In 2009, she was named Journalist of the Year
by the National Association of Black Journalists. In that same year, she was named one of Essence
Magazine’s 25 Most Influential Black Americans and was elected to Ebony Magazine’s Power
150 list. In 2010, she launched The Race Card Project,
which she has described as an effort to ask people to think about their experiences, questions,
hopes, dreams, laments, or observations about race and identity, and distill those thoughts
into a single six word sentence. She describes the result of this ongoing project
as a fascinating archive of attitudes about race at an interesting point in history. The inaugural year of The Race Card Project
also saw the publication of Ms. Norris’ memoir, The Grace of Silence. “I set out to write a book exploring America’s
hidden conversation about race,” Ms. Norris wrote in her memoir “but changed course
when I started listening intently to the hidden conversations in my own family. I was shocked to learn that my father was
shot in the leg by white police officers in Birmingham, Alabama shortly after returning
from his military service in World War II. While the wound was superficial, the experience
was not and the story remained submerged for decades. But my mother also had a secret. She never spoke about the years her mother
worked as an itinerant Aunt Jemima, traveling to small towns conducting pancake mix demonstrations,
dressed in a hoop skirt and apron with a bandanna on her head. I always knew I was shaped by my parents’
expectations,” Ms. Norris continued “what I did not realize until recently is that I
was also shaped by their silence. I now understand that I was molded in myriad
ways by those things they never talked about, but that nonetheless dictated how they lived
their lives. They didn’t want to weigh down our pockets
with tales of woe. Instead, they armed us with ambition instead
of anxiety. My parents kept those stories to themselves
because they wanted their children to soar.” Please join me in welcoming our honored guest,
Michele Norris. Dean Kodat, thank you very much for that wonderful
introduction. President Ellis, thank you so much for having
me here. Thanks also to the selection committee for
allowing me to be here with all of you today. Good day to the faculty, the families, the
alumni, the distinguished guests, but most especially good day to all of you. This is your day. You made it. You’re here at the finish line. You’ve done all the work even though you
may still have that anxiety dream that you may have for the next 20 years where you wake
up and think, “Am I really four credits short? Did I really finish?” You’re here because you really did finish. So congratulations, big ups. I’m from the midwest and on a day like today,
people would say, “smell you” which is a way of saying “you’ve really done something.” I love college graduations and one of the
reasons why is that it’s a moment that is so filled with possibility and awe. There are some of you out there whose parents
are sitting out here above you in the colosseum with an extra, big, broad, high-wattage smile
on their face because they wondered if you were gonna make it to this day. Or maybe they wondered if they were gonna
make it to this day because your dreams may have exceeded their bank accounts, your stress
might have seeped into their lives, but you made it work. Or maybe it’s the other way around: maybe
their expectations exceeded your ability to get up consistently for that 8:00 AM class,
but you did it. Y’all made it, and I bet along the way that
y’all exceeded your own expectations. Maybe you found something deep inside yourself
that you didn’t even know was there. But you did this with a lot of help: you didn’t
get here by yourself. You did this because you were surrounded by
fabulous people here at Lewis & Clark and you did this because you had a team that was
behind you: physically, financially, spiritually. So while we’re here to celebrate you –yes
this day is all about you– I just want to take a minute, if you don’t mind, to celebrate
the people who helped get you here. I want you to do me a favor. We’re gonna have a little break, get the
blood circulation going. Stand up, if you will. I want you to turn around and face the people
who helped get you to this moment and give them a big round of applause. Okay, now that we’ve got the blood circulation
going, we can take our seats again. This is a wonderful day and it’s wonderful
to see that circle of pride because they are so proud of you and I am so proud of you and
so honored to look out upon your faces and to see all the hope and possibility here. You’re indeed graduating from a very special
place. Very few campuses are more beautiful than
Lewis & Clark, more committed to our planet, and more committed to producing global thinkers
and leaders like Lewis & Clark. You now enter the world with the spirit of
adventure. You’re free to explore that world, to feast
of life’s bounty, to maybe rest a little bit and get a little sleep –you earned that–
but we’re counting on you to use your talents, your, energies, and your boundless curiosity
to lift us all up. As you heard, President Ellis said it begins
with love, but that’s fueled by curiosity and we need you to have that burning curiosity
when you go out into the world. Go out and explore this world that’s waiting
for you and we can’t wait to see how bold and how highly you soar, because that’s
what pioneers do: they light the way for the rest of us, and we can’t wait to see what
you do. To the Class of 2017, God bless you, God bless
your families. It has been an honor to be with you today. Go, Pioneers, Go! President Ellis, it gives me great pleasure
to present Michele Norris for the awarding of the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters
Honoris Causa. I wanna say, like many of you here today,
you have brightened my day in the pouring rain, stuck in traffic, trying to get somewhere
when it didn’t seem like there was any hope, and so I just want to thank you for that. As a journalist, author, and consummate storyteller,
you have chronicled human nature with conscience, compassion, and an unwavering commitment to
truth. Indeed, your extraordinary work is rooted
in deep curiosity. A quest to understand and a drive to share
what you discover. Your journey has taken you from writing stories
as a child about your Oakland Avenue neighbors in South Minneapolis, to reporting the lives
of people and nations as host of National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, to
opening hard and necessary conversations about our nation’s longest lasting scar with The
Race Card Project. In your memoir, The Grace of Silence, you
teach us that the struggles and aspirations of our nation can be traced through the secrets
and strivings of a family. For revealing the power of personal narratives
that connect us across differences, for pushing us not simply to observe but to engage the
world in all its complexity, and for demonstrating that a resolute and confident voice speaking
with truth, ultimately mute the most bellicose and for believing in the power of ideas and
of our students. Lewis & Clark is honored this day to confer
upon you, Michele Norris, the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa. Our Senior Speaker is Arielle Valdez, a psychology
and rhetoric and media studies double major and a member of the golf team. A Los Angeles native, Arielle has taken full
advantage of everything a liberal arts college like Lewis & Clark can offer, something you
might guess from the fact that she is both a double major and a varsity athlete. Arielle told me that she chose Lewis & Clark
because “I didn’t want it to be just golf and school.” By her own admission though, she is the kind
of person who, she put it to me, “likes to do so many things it can be a problem.” It’s no surprise that she was thinking of
double majoring even before she arrived in Portland. During her time with us she has also been
a resident advisor, this past year she has been resident career advisor, and a member
of The Merryweathers a capella singing group. Though she wasn’t able to squeeze in a minor
in music. “There just wasn’t enough room in my schedule.” She confessed with a sigh. Arielle’s sojourn with The Merryweathers
allowed her to realize another ambition which was to learn all the Disney princess songs. “My ultimate dream is to be a Disney princess”
she laughingly told me. “Not the live-action, just the voice-over.” That’s a good thing for your typical Disney
princess, who would be hard put to keep up with Arielle’s own live-action. Majoring in psych allowed her to gratify her
lifelong curiosity about how people operate. She said, “I always knew I wanted to study
people” and that passionate curiosity and compassion spills over into everything she
does. Having completed her senior thesis exploring
the connection between poverty and developmental psychopathologies, Arielle plans to take a
year off before returning to her studies here at Lewis & Clark, this time at the Graduate
School of Education and Counseling. With a strong interest in elementary education,
Arielle hopes eventually to work in Portland public schools. “Ideally,” she told me “at a Title I
school where the needs are greatest. I feel this is what I need to be doing.” Something else you might find interesting
to know about Arielle: her father applied to Lewis & Clark College and was waitlisted. He was accepted at another west coast liberal
arts college and was comfortable with his decision when Lewis & Clark came calling with
the news that he was off the waitlist and admitted, but it was too late. The die was cast. There was no indication that Arielle’s dad
ever regretted his decision, but he did communicate his affection for Lewis & Clark College to
his daughter, who made LC her first choice school. Lucky, lucky us. Please join me in welcoming our first choice
Senior Speaker for the Class of 2017, Arielle Valdez. Thank you, Dean Kodat for that lovely introduction. Family, friends, faculty, staff, the best
Dean of Students ever, Anna Gonzales, per her request, and most of all, to my fellow graduates, good
afternoon and welcome. I am so incredibly excited and nervous to
be here with you all today. When Angela Buck from IME first reached out
to ask if she could nominate me for Senior Speaker Commencement Candidate, I felt so
honored that I didn’t even think twice about respectfully declining, because after feeling
honored that she even thought of me, I immediately felt this sense of inadequacy. Thanks to the mandatory in-class presentations
of virtually every professor at Lewis & Clark, or at least the ones that I’ve had and have
heard of, it wasn’t that I thought I was incapable of public speaking, I just didn’t
feel that I should be the one of having the honor of being the Senior Speaker for the
Class of 2017. In more or less words, I was stressed out
and this should be funny for those of you who know me, and also not a shocker. I mean, was I qualified to do this? How do I even write a commencement speech? Thankfully, these past four years in college
have reinforced me that Google is my best pal. This is the part where I’d like to thank
my family for allowing me to experience a wonderful liberal arts education and reassure
them that I learned a lot more from my professors than I did from Google. Ultimately though, it did help with all of
my commencement speech questions and here we are now. After my brief, or not so brief, panic attack
in Google search, I quickly realized that it would be an honor to be the Senior Speaker. The people who know me the best know that
I’m a people pleaser. I don’t like to let my friends and family
down. I realized that this speech isn’t for me,
it’s for all of us. This day is for all of us. Our families, our friends, our professors,
our mentors. Some would say that today marks the end and
the beginning of chapters in our lives. While this is true, today also marks the celebration
of all that we have accomplished, not only in these past four years, but our whole academic
careers. Today represents all of our hard earned work
that we were able to achieve because we had people who supported us along the way. Lewis & Clark was my first choice college. During my junior year in high school I decided
that pursuing a golf scholarship at a large university wasn’t worth it to me. I wanted a holistic education at a liberal
arts school where I could focus on school and pursue as many of my interests as I could. I also wanted to make the connections and
invaluable memories that so many people had told me about. I wanted to go to a place I could call home. When I reflect on the last four years, I’m
incredibly grateful for being a part of this community. Going to Lewis & Clark has made me a better
student because the relationships I developed with all of my professors made me want to
grow and to do work that I could be proud of. Going to Lewis & Clark has made me a better
classmate because I was surrounded by people who are so brilliant and so supportive. In the last two years especially, when our
work as students became more and more focused and important in our majors, it has been humbling
to be surrounded by peers who want to achieve and succeed together, both in school and in
life. Going to Lewis & Clark has made me a better
person because the accepting and inclusive environment has helped me develop empathy,
compassion, and understanding as a human being. Four years ago at convocation, Professor Becca
Copenhaver talked about finding your passion. She said that many first year students are
told to go to college with the mindset of finding or pursuing a passion, but that the
mindset of finding your passion was problematic because college isn’t just a time for people
to find one single passion. She encouraged us especially as Lewis & Clark
students to explore our passions because it was more than okay to be passionate about
multiple things. That for me was one of the moments that I
will never forget because I knew then that I had made the right choice. Because I went to Lewis & Clark, I got to
pursue my passions: I got to play golf, I got to study both psychology and rhetoric
and media studies, I got to be a resident advisor, I got to sing in a capella, I got
to study abroad, and I got to develop some of the most incredible and cherished relationships
of my life. Now that may seem like a lot, but when I look
back at these past four years and when I look at you, my fellow classmates, I can’t recall
a time when I met someone at Lewis & Clark who was just a student. I didn’t get the chance to personally know
all of you, but I did get the chance to get to know a good number of you, and I’m still
amazed and inspired both by what you individually accomplished and what we collectively accomplished
as the Class of 2017. We weren’t just students. We were and we are: artists, athletes, musicians,
scientists, leaders of organizations and events, advocates for various and important causes,
writers, student workers, world travelers, and so, so, so much more. I couldn’t be prouder to stand amongst all
of you. Today is a celebration of the last four years
we’ve spent at Lewis & Clark. With the support of our families, our professors,
our friends, and each other, we have been able to accomplish so many incredible things
that we care about. The pursuit of our passions doesn’t have
to end here. Life doesn’t have to get in the way of doing
the things that we love to do. These past four years have given us the foundation
and the tools to keep going and growing as individuals who live passionately and if we
all continue to do the amazing things that I’ve had the privilege of seeing these past
four years, then I have no doubt that we will become greater people and do greater things. So, in the great words of Maya Angelou, because
I couldn’t have said it better myself, my fellow Class of 2017, make it your “mission
in life to not merely survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion,
some humor, and some style.” Thank you. Before presenting the Class of 2017 we pause
to remember one member of the class who tragically is not with us today. The rose on the last student seat is in honor
of Riley Zickel who disappeared on a solo backpacking trip last July and has not been
found. Riley was a chemistry major and a music minor
who is remembered for his curiosity and his enthusiasm. Please join me in a moment of silence. As we move now to the conferral of degrees
upon the Class of 2017, I want to remind family and friends that professional photographers
will be taking a photo of each graduate as they receive their diplomas and as they leave
the stage. We ask that you stay in your seats so that
everyone may have a clear view of the stage. Thank you very much for your assistance. President Ellis, it gives me great pleasure
to present the Class of 2017. We have 435 students graduating. These graduates represent almost every state
in the union. 19 come to us from other nations including
Austria, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Haiti, India, Japan, Macau, Moldova, Saudi Arabia,
The Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. Our international students are wearing ribbons
displaying the colors of their country’s flags. Our 24 Third Culture Kids, fondly known as
TCKs, are individuals who have grown up in a country other than that of their birth or
who have lived in another country for a significant amount of time. TCKs wear the ribbons of the countries in
which they live or have lived. These nations include Austria, Belgium, Cameroon,
Canada, China, Costa Rica, Finland, France, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The
Republic of Georgia, The Republic of Korea, Russia, and Singapore. Just as international students come to study
here, so to, our students travel in large numbers to study abroad. 248 members of this graduating class have
studied overseas during their college years in 23 different countries. Another group of 11 has participated in off-campus
domestic programs. These groups combined represent 60% of the
Class of 2017. These students are wearing the colors of the
countries or states in which they have studied. 12 of them are wearing the colors of more
than one flag. In your program, you will find descriptions
of the cords, medallions, and tassels that supplement the student regalia and their significance. Let me now point out some specific groups
and individuals among the students seated before us. Please join me in applause once they have
all stood for recognition. The Phi Beta Kappa national honor society
recognizes high academic achievement. Phi Beta Kappa members, please stand and be
recognized. The Pamplin Society of Fellows, endowed by
distinguished alumnus and former Chair of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Robert Pamplin,
celebrates excellence in the development of minds, body, and spirit. Members of the Pamplin Society assume a special
responsibility for leadership through inspiration and by personal example. Please stand and be recognized. The Paul Barney Award recognizes contributions
to campus life with Sarah Bucknovitz and Miguel Guerrero. Please stand and be recognized. The President’s Recognition of Outstanding
Community Service honors students serving others through community involvement. This year’s recipient is Julie A. Oatfield. Please stand and be recognized. The American Association of University Women
for Outstanding Contribution of the Senior Women was awarded to Katie Kowal. Please stand and be recognized. The Rena J. Ratte Award is the college’s
highest academic honor given in memory of Dr. Rena Ratte, remembered for her formidable
intellect and commitment to academic rigor, it was awarded to Katy Kowal. Thank you. President Ellis, our students embody American
higher education at its best. Steep in the traditions of the liberal arts,
they have pursued social, scientific, aesthetic, and humanistic knowledge and experience both
for its own sake and for the sake of making the world a better place and themselves better
people. In the library, in laboratories, in studios,
classrooms, and on the playing fields, they have pushed themselves to explore and to question. They have braved the discomfort that attends
the discovery of the new and unfamiliar, and they have felt the joyous flash of unexpected
recognition and understanding. They have also learned in service to the wider
community. Lewis & Clark students regularly give up themselves,
tutoring immigrants in English, collecting food for the hungry, or raising awareness
of environmental issues. Our students are informed and caring citizens. Graduates, as you cross this stage, you secure
your place in the history of this fine college. With this privilege comes great responsibility
shared by the alumni who came before you and awaiting graduates of the future to embody
the values that center a Lewis & Clark education: exploration, learning, and service. Will the candidates for the degree of Bachelor
of Arts please rise. President Ellis, these candidates, having
completed all the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in their several disciplines, are
presented for the conferral of their degrees. Thank you, Dean Kodat. By the virtue of the authority vested in me
by the Board of Trustees of Lewis & Clark College and under the laws of the state of
Oregon, I confer upon you the degree of Bachelor of Arts with all of the rights, responsibilities,
and privileges they’re to appertain. Class of 2017, please be seated and come forward
at the direction of the faculty marshals. Gregory D. Aaronson Antar Akira Abderrahman Hayley E. Abourezk-Pinkstone Anastasia Adriano Ayisat O. Afolabi Luz Aguirre Elizabeth Josephine Albanese Brooke Ashworth Alexander Elizabeth Qian Ramsay Allan Rachel Anne Amity Kaleb H. Anderson Natalie A. Anderson Sarah E. Anderson Simon Anderson Maya Carson Anthony-Crosby Carl E. Appleton Jr. Raquel Arce-Guillen Ursula Arhart Elizabeth LeeAnn Armitage Emily Rose Aufuldish Jeremy E. Bacharach Zohreh Parak Bahardar Reham Bahauddin Aurora Ellen Bailey Jeremy Ballen Samantha R. Barstack Madison McCants Barto Victoria Zelmira Baskett Gemma Paula Baumer Benjamin Samuel Beck William Daniel Beck Benjamin James Soloman Beecroft Tessa Corinne Belanger Mariah Kay Bellamoroso Julia E. Benford Olive Estelle Bernstein Jacqueline J. Bersson Adam Betters Emma L. Biddulph Gabriel Lee Binder Jeremy R. Biskind Sabina Singer Bloom Anna M. Blythe Elizabeth Louise Bock Ashley M. Bolick Victoria Rose Bonds Arthur Borden-Heilman Marielle Bossio James N. Brandt Michael F. Brewer Myles Emerson Bridgewater-Jackman Isabella C. Brink Cassandra Leigh Broadwin Alexander S. Brodeur Colin Montgomery Brown Sarah Katharine Allen Bucknovitz Marissa G. Bunting Claire Alana Burke Taylor L. Burke Jacob F. Burton Robert Elio Cabrales Monique Arelle Calfe-Smith Isabel Miriam Campbell Griffin P. Carey Taylor R. Carleton Erin R. Carlson Hedda Madlyn Zacharin Carney Andrew Francis Cavanaugh Mirza K. Chacon Monroy Lili Chambers Erick Philip Christopherson Codi Coghlan Anna Colando Allie B. Collins Timothy Joel Collins Cory Greene Coombe Mackenzie Cornell-Maier Amanda Marie Cosby Emma Nani Cranston Ambrea N. Crawford Monica N. Cropsey Claire M. Crossman Cameron Forest Crowell Devon M. Curtright Michael Andrew Daellenbach Benjamin Daley Andrea Rose Dean Elizabeth Joyce Anne DeBunce Rebecca Jordan Delay Melena Aztlan De Leon Katherine Coffin Delgado Benjamin DeLuca Claudia Diaz Leonardo Di Giosia Mikaela E. Dibble-Kahn James Bailey Doll Amanda Lee Douglas Molly A. Douglas Irene Elizabeth Duba Grace M. Dudley Kathryn Lauren Dunbar John Ambrose Durant III Dominika Dzierzynski Maria Alexeevna Egorenko Bridger Ehli Kaylie Hope Engel Sarah I. Essex Lily E. Feldman Sara Anne Fetterly Renee Michelle Field Isobel Anne Fikso Jacob E. Fong-Gurzinsky Harrison Taliferro Forch Niko Fortino Adam Elliot Fractor Cristian Danilo Franco Kirby R. Franklin Anna Linnea Frazier Abigail R. Freed Zoë F. Freeman Laurel Jolie Galaty Cole H. Gann Mako Gedi Nicholas Charles Vujovich Gibbs Spencer A. Gibson Spencer J. Gibson Drake Gilliland Catherine Golan Sara Mei Ling Goldstein Shannon E. Gormley Ellen Rose Goudie Elana Rose Grabel Kenya Granich Caroline G. Gray Raiven M. Greenberg Giulia Grigsby Emma Holland Grillo Abbey Chiara Griscom Katarina Gabrielle Grohs Andrew Groshong Miguel D. Guerrero Jacob C. Gutierrez Alyssa D. Harbison Marie G. Harp Marissa E. Harshbarger Zhangchao He Sina Heng Bridgette Henningsen Madeline J. Hermann Alan R. Hermanns Daniel Adalberto Hernandez Cole S. Hildebrand Zeth C. Hillman-Johnson Michael Thomas Hirsch Jacob Niall Hochberg Benjamin Hohman Ian Craig Holland Valcourt Honoré Sophia Horigan Jiayi Hou Carleene Beatrice Houk Jose Gabriel Huape Taylor Ann Hudson Nicole A. Huizinga Clara Macculloch Irving Elliott Jacobson Lacey Christine Jacoby Dorothy Sheffield Jaffray Daniel T. Jarrad Morgan Rose Jarvis Jocelyn Ivette Jerez Yoselin Paola Vasquez Tirsa Orellana Aspen Johnson Natalia Johnson Alex Benjamin Jones Schuyler Putnam Jones Rochelle R. Jordan James A. Josephson Geneva Laurel Karr Lillian Dame Kazanoff Lexi M. Kelley Walker J. Kelly Maya Larkin Kelp Madeline R. Kelsch Jessie Eleanor Kennedy Kylee Maye Kennel Erin Rose Keoppen Lesedi M. Khabele-Stevens Garret Khougaz Sarah Kimiko King Nora S. Korhonen Jessica Renee Kostka Katherine McCarthy Kowal John C. Kray Eliza Brett Kronenberger Sadie Skye Kurtz Juye Kweon Nicole Epiphany Lafeber Helena Zi Huey Lam Stella Zi Kwan Lam Rosemary Lambert Mackenzie E. Lang Rhianna R. Larson Erin M. Law Grace Olive Lawley Torin Somers Lee Nicholas Kealalio LeSage Abigail Brooks Levison Nicholas A. Lockwood Katherine Loeffler Alexander Wind Frankie Lorenzini John Paul Loudon David Scott Lovitz Eve Grace Lowenstein Creagan Thomas Lydon Junnan Lyu Ian S. Macdonald Drake William MacFarlane Spencer Allan Mackey Nakaia Eliza Macomber-Millman Bernadette L. Maertens Alexander C. Mahar Samuel H. Makman Mika M. Mandeville Ilyse Markrack Thomas John Massari Madeleine Matheis Hannah Mathieson Jacquelynn L. Mauldwin AnaCapri Mauro Thomas H. McAulay Scarlett McCarthy Caitlin A. McCoy Mason John-Carroll McLellan Myriel Marianna Meißner Indu A. Merritt Jessica Meyerzon Josef Minor Alessandro Gabriele Miotti Elizabeth Muir Shay Myerson Alexe E. Navarro Sara R. Neuner Jenny M. Ngo De’Janique Sheria Nicholas Parker J. Nichols Fran Novak Lena Gabrielle Defendi Novak Larkin Ryley Wollenberg O’Shea Emily Irene O’Sullivan Morgan D. O’Sullivan Julie A. Oatfield Laurel A. Olden Mami Onishi Jacob K. Oram Zachary R. Oser Mikeala Maya Claiborne Owen Leone Palmeri Lindsay Kay Parmelee Mary H. Passarelli Julianne C. Patt Meng Peng Rachel H. Perry Keziah Ruth Peterson Mackenzie Peterson Anh Pham Nathan M. Phipps Kurtis E. Pierret Zoe K. Pittman Perri Elizabeth Pond Shelby Caitlyn Poole Victor Potînga Fiodor Jacqueline E. Potter Ian S. Price Rinyuda Promphenrangsi Jacob I. Prusak Hannah Frances Prutton Shiloh Donovan Psujek Sully R. Pujol Balal Rahim Aubrie Lynn Rakus Abbigail Ann Rautenberg Alice Wolfe Reichert Robert Reimanis Emma Pierce Rempel Julia E. Revier Ian George Chandler Rex Marin Ricketson Cannen Isaiah Roberson Jesse Robertson Samantha H. Robinson Evan Roche Neal Rock Melissa J. Rogers Jenai Matilde Rojo Ruby A. Roll Kalin Virginia Rooney Linnea Rooney Tiana K.R. Rosario Kevin A. Ross Andrea Marie Roseberry Jessica M. Rosenblatt Matthew Mather Ross Sydney Roth David Ruan Anri N. Ryan Willa Sacharow Mehtab Kaur Sal Samantha Salkind Gunnar A. Salois Maia Phoebe Dylan Samerjan Kyle W. Sanborn Paige E. Sanders Benjamin Sands Selena Ledezma Saucedo Heather Elizabeth Schadt Emily Schatzberg Faviana Fuentes Schectman Kara Scherer Kate Schirmer Julia Maeve Schiweck Allison Kaley Schneider McKenna L. Schoonover Melissa Layton Schulze Ellen Rebecca Schwartz Zachary H. Scribner Sydney A. Seabrook Kyle Sears Miranda Rae Shakes Alexis Ruth Shapiro David Ryan Shapiro James A. Sharp Grace Ellen Catalina Shaw Jeffrey Shaw Maggie B. Sholar Charlotte C. Shuff Tamar Shuhendler Griffin Siadak Conner K. Sick Morganne Sigismonti Zach Jonathan Simon Jesse H. Simpson Vincent T. Singer Jacob M. Sivinski Eric Slack Andria Alice Slomski-Pritz Hannah Rose Smay Conor Shayne Smith Marina Alyssa Smith Cameron Gregory Smith Megan Spalding Chiara Dawa Spayd Lauren Sydney Spiegel Jennifer L. Stevens Julia M. Stevens Regan McKenzie Stewart Audrey Violet Stuart Madison V. Sullivan Lauren Elise Sublinskas Frances Hannah Swanson Lilian McIntyre Taft Isis Marie Crystal Terrall Isabel Thomas Madeline Sara Ticknor Burnley L. Traux Allison Twidwell Anthony Utehs Isabella Rose Vaccaro Arielle Kristen Valdez Madison Valladares-Aldridge Estéban Valle Brandon J. Vance Felicia Vargas Cambronero Rachel M. Venn Sophia M. Vigil Paloma Anais Vizcaino Catherine Miller Volpe Laura A. Voss Katherine Elizabeth Wackett Austin Taylor Wade Preston Robert Wagner Jessica D. Wallace Rena Wang Korina Warring-Enriquez Ajna G. Weaver Samantha M. Weiss Noah C. Wells Christopher J. Weschler Haines D. Whitacre Lauren K. White Naomi E. Widstrom Juliet E. Wilhelm Shannon Marie Williams Andrew A. Williamson Savannah Rae Wohlstattar Tomás Yáñez Lindsay Marie Yearman Yeon Jung Yoo Madison Katherine Young Daphne Ho-Ting Yuen Yuzhe Zou Members of the Class of 2017 please stand for the charge. A few minutes ago, I invoked the values that
center a Lewis & Clark education: exploration, learning, and service. I am sure you all heard within that phase
echos of the college’s Latin motto: explorare, discere, sociare. Infinitive verbs carrying the aspirational
charge enjoyed by all infinitives. Explorare and discere commend you as graduates
of Lewis & Clark to courageous lives of exploration and lifelong learning. To render sociare as a commitment to service,
however, is a bit of a free translation. Another infinitive verb, which is to say,
another hint of something to which you should aspire. Sociare is more accurately rendered as “to
share in” or “unite.” Now on the face of it, “to serve” is not
the same as “to share” but sometimes a free rendering captures more of the essential
truth than a faithful reproduction. And then too, there is the fact that you have
all learned to look beyond the surface to seek out and bring into the light those deeper
connections or hidden meanings too often overlooked. My charge to you, Class of 2017, is simple
but it is not small. Live those words that you have come to know
so well. Explore, learn, and share the fruits of your
learning so that you and all of those around you are well-served. For true service is sharing of your knowledge,
of your talent, of your heart, of your very self. Do that to your own best capacity and you
will do us all proud. Never forget Lewis & Clark College is your
home. While you are now preparing to leave that
home, know that we’ll be cheering you on, for we hope you will stay in touch and let
us know how things are going. We will miss you and we will not soon forget
these days that we have shared together. Members of the Class of 2017, to symbolize
the milestone culminating in today’s ceremony, please move your tassels to the left. You are now alumni of Lewis & Clark College. Congratulations on your success! I wish you all the good will in the world
and godspeed. It’s now my pleasure to invite the choir
back on stage, now as graduates and alumni, to lead the Class of 2017 and you, our audience,
in singing the Alma Mater. The lyrics are printed in your program and
the tune is familiar to many of you. I will ask the members of the audience to
please remain seated during the recessional. The recessional will continue to the main
plaza outdoors. Please plan to meet your graduate there. Thank you and good luck.

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