Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Thousands to Gather for F&M Commencement May 11

  • commencement inside
  • Thousands will gather for the Commencement ceremony for F&M's Class of 2013 on May 11. (Photo by Nick Gould)

Media contact: Julia Ferrante, 717-291-4062,

Lancaster, Pa. — UPDATE, May 11: Due to forecasts for inclement weather, Commencement will be held indoors in the Alumni Sports & Fitness Center.

By Danielle Weiner '13

LANCASTER, Pa. -- Thousands of family members and friends, faculty and professional staff will join the Class of 2013 at Franklin & Marshall College's Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11.

The proceedings will begin at 10 a.m. on Hartman Green in the center of the F&M campus, weather permitting. The rain location is the College's Alumni Sports & Fitness Center on the north side of Harrisburg Avenue.

As the College continues its "Beyond 225: Inspired for Life" celebration marking the 225 years since the first class assembled at the former Franklin College, approximately 590 graduates will receive bachelor of arts degrees. Of those, 74 are expected to graduate with double majors and 222 with minors. About 277 are male, 313 are female and 31 come from Lancaster County. In addition, 18 will graduate summa cum laude, 53 magna cum laude and 88 cum laude. About 41 will receive departmental honors and 292 have received other awards and honors. 

Honorary degrees also will be awarded to the Commencement speaker, Melanne S. Verveer, and two distinguished alumni, Stanley J. Dudrick, M.D., '57, an internationally renowned physician, and Jane Moss '74, vice president for programming at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Seating will be limited, and priority will be given to families of the graduates. The Commencement ceremony also will be broadcast live online.

Verveer, who served as the first ambassador-at-large for women's issues in the U.S. Department of State, and also as chief of staff during Hillary Clinton's tenure as First Lady of the United States, will deliver the keynote address. Verveer recently became executive director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security at Georgetown University.

President Barack Obama appointed Verveer as ambassador in 2009 in recognition of her service as co-founder and chairwoman of the board of the Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international nongovernmental organization that supports global women's leadership. Verveer said that she plans to share with F&M's graduating seniors the importance of women's issues and the obligations of women and men to be informed and to take action.

"I would like the graduates to think about why women's issues matter and to see that these issues are not just about women, but about creating the kind of world we all want to see," Verveer said.

Debbie Martin '72, director of special events and assistant secretary of the College, described Commencement as "a day of celebration for seniors and their families, but also for the Franklin & Marshall community."  

"Each and every academic department and administrative office has a role in the success of the weekend, and it is so uplifting to come together on that day to celebrate," Martin said.

Other graduation weekend events include a picnic lunch for seniors and their families, a senior awards ceremony, and the baccalaureate program, created by members of the Class of 2013 for graduates, family, friends, alumni, professional staff and faculty.

A complete Commencement Schedule, registration and general information about parking, accommodations and dining is available on the Commencement website. Live coverage of the 2013 Commencement ceremony will appear at To confirm the location on the morning of the event, call 717-291-3848.