5/09/2018 Peter Durantine

Tassels to Turn for May 12 Commencement

Tassels will turn, caps will fly, and family and friends will cheer as members of Franklin & Marshall’s Class of 2018 mark the completion of their undergraduate careers and the launch of their postgraduate lives at the May 12 Commencement.

The Commencement ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in the College's Alumni Sports & Fitness Center on the north side of Harrisburg Avenue. Students will robe on the upper track of the Alumni Sports & Fitness Center and the Faculty will robe in 1787 in College Square at 9 a.m. 

“2018 is a remarkably distinctive class,” President Daniel R. Porterfield said. “So many created their own, personalized F&M educations in powerful and meaningful ways. They leave rich legacies in every corner of the campus, and in the hopes and minds of all who have taught them.” 

  • Commencement Day May 12 promises mild, sunny weather, perfect for a graduation on F&M's Hartman Green. Commencement Day May 12 promises mild, sunny weather, perfect for a graduation on F&M's Hartman Green. Image Credit: Eric Forberger

This Commencement will be bittersweet for Porterfield, who leaves June 1 to become president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, an international, nonpartisan research institute in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker delivers this year’s Commencement address. Booker was a community activist in Newark, N.J., when he turned to a political career that soared. In 15 years, he went from city council to mayor to one of New Jersey’s two U.S. senators and the state’s first African American senator. 

Commencement ceremonies will include College honorary degrees to Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, one of the few transgender public officials in the nation; Charles Lieber ’81, P ’14, the Joshua and Beth Friedman University Professor for the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University; and Nicole Hurd, founder and chief executive officer of College Advising Corps.

In 2013, Booker won the special election to an open Senate seat, and then was elected to the full Senate term in 2014. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in sociology at Stanford University, where he played football as a tight end and was elected senior class president.

In 1993, Booker received a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford, where he earned an honors degree in U.S. history. Following Oxford, while he studied law at Yale, Booker started a legal clinic for low-income New Haven, Conn., residents. When he graduated in 1997, he served as staff attorney for the Urban Justice Center in New York and program coordinator for the Newark Youth Project before stepping into municipal politics.

Other graduation weekend activities include a picnic lunch May 11 for seniors and their families on Sponaugle-Williamson Field, where the following day at noon, just after Commencement, members of the Class of 2018 are invited for refreshments to celebrate their time at F&M with family, friends, alumni and faculty.

Seating is limited, and priority will be given to families of the graduates. The ceremony will be streamed live online. Viewing location on campus is Bonchek Lecture Hall in the Ann and Richard Barshinger Life Sciences & Philosophy Building. The space is air-conditioned and accessible to the disabled.

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