Marietta College President Dr. Jean A. Scott and Provost Dr. Sue DeWine handed out more than 300 diplomas Sunday, May 8, during the 168th annual commencement ceremony in the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center in front of more than 2,000 family and friends.
Senior Carrie Lang of Marietta was awarded the coveted Jewett Oration Prize for her speech "Don't Quote Me on That." Senior Melissa Yusko of Jefferson, Ohio, finished second with her speech, "But Where has the Time Gone."
Lang's speech touched on the tragic events that took place during the Class of 2005's four years at Marietta — as did many of Sunday's speakers. Only a month after arriving on campus as freshman the nation was dealt a blow by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. More recently the class dealt with two major floods in Marietta and the deaths of former Student Senate President Michael Conte in a car accident and long-time baseball coach Don Schaly to cancer.
"The world has altered our class," Lang said. "We're now prepared to alter the world."
President Scott also noted how the students responded in a positive way after each tragedy by helping to raise money or to pitch in and help the situation.
The College also honored some of its finest graduates, including co-valedictorians Julie A. Jones of Belpre and Nicholas V. Kunze of Parkersburg, W.Va., and Lang, who is the salutatorian.
The men and women who received their degrees Sunday join the more than 13,000 Marietta College alumni/ae as members of the Long Blue Line.
A member of the Long Blue Line, David Rickey '78, was the 2005 commencement speaker, and he spoke about the lessons he has learned from his experiences in the semiconductor field.
"I walked the same path that some of you walk today, only 27 short years ago as a member of Marietta's Class of 1978," he said. "As your parents can attest, the passage of time is very non-linear. It took forever for me to reach age 25 and enter the work force full-time. But these second 25 years of my life are a blur. I wish the next 25 years could go slower, but that won't happen."
Rickey recently retired as a chairman, president and CEO of Applied Micro Circuits Corporation, a San Diego-based manufacturer of specialized high-performance communications chips.
He closed his speech Sunday by reminding the graduates of three themes.
"Time is non-linear, and your adult life will now accelerate faster than you can imagine. Your opportunities will be unleashed, or held captive, not by some external locus of control, but by your own mindset. It's all about money, until you have it. Then it was never about money at all."
Marietta College officials also handed out more than 40 master's degrees, including the first two graduates of the Master of Corporate Media program.
MC faculty member, Dr. Daniel Huck, of the McDonough Center for Leadership and Business, was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award.