Commencement 2002

Only twice in the past 30 years has the weather gotten the best of the College and forced the annual Commencement indoors. Although Saturday was truly miserable with winter-like weather that gave the more fainthearted pause, Commencement Sunday was bright and beautiful, although very chilly.

However, the palpable excitement of the graduates and their guests generated so much energy that the temperatures, which were hovering in the lower 50s, were not even noticed and played no role in the events of the morning.

The many spring flowering bushes and plants were at their peak, and the campus sparkled in the morning sun. The convocation procession began promptly at 11 a.m. and make its way from the Gymnasium to the softball field, which was used this year because it is higher and has better drainage than the traditional site by the pond. Its progress was heralded by the strains of a brass ensemble.

A perfect setting and a perfect day for the 87 graduates and the more than 700 family members, friends, alumnae, faculty, and staff who gathered for the festivities and who burst into spontaneous applause as the procession of graduates, all robed in black, made its way onto the field.

President Gloria Nemerowicz officially opened the ceremonies, welcoming everyone to the 90th Commencement of the College and describing the occasion as a celebration of our learning community of women. Then addressing the graduating seniors, she said, "We are very proud of you. This academic year - your senior year - began with great sorrow and confusion. Following September, 11, you helped us all come together as an emotional and intellectual community as we pressed for answers and understanding. Together we have deepened our resolve to keep our community open, our diversity strong, and to make the principles of inclusivity and social responsibility a reality."

Following these remarks, President Nemerowicz called on the Director of Multicultural and Spiritual Programs, Robyn Frankly-Vaughn, to deliver the invocation, and mentioning that Robyn would soon be receiving her Master's of Divinity Degree from the Episcopal Divinity School. Charmain Turner, president of the Student Government Association, and Dawn Doucette, senior class speaker, then delivered individual salutations, and each reflected on her time at PMC and the impact that it had on her life.

Honorary degrees were awarded to Libby C. Candler '77, co-chair of Pine Manor College's Board of Trustees; Susan L. Lindquist, director of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research; and Marita Rivero, vice president and radio general manager for WGBH.

Faculty awards, students awards, and the Alumna Distinguished Service Award were announced, and then Dean of the College, Nia Lane Chester, presented the graduating class for the formal awarding of their degrees. Seventy-eight graduates received Bachelor's degrees and nine received Associate's degrees in the following areas: 24 in Business Administration, 15 in Biology, 1 in Child Studies, 10 in Communication, 3 in Education/Psychology, 3 in Social and Political Systems, and 8 in Visual Arts.

In conclusion, President Nemerowicz asked the graduates to stand and turn to express their thanks to their families who had been so supportive over the past four years. She then formally concluded the 90th Pine Manor College Commencement and invited all present to a reception on the Founder's Lawn.