Marietta College President Dr. Jean A. Scott and Provost Dr. Sue DeWine handed out more than 290 diplomas Saturday, May 20, during the 169th annual commencement ceremony in the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center in front of more than 2,000 family and friends.
Senior Harry Antonio of Rhode Island was awarded the coveted Jewett Oration Prize for his speech "Strands of Memory." Senior Megan Schreck of Bethel Park, Pa., finished second with her speech, "You Got To Be Hungry."
Antonio's speech touched on the tragic events that took place during the Class of 2006's four years at Marietta — as did many of Saturday's speakers. The seniors were dealt a serious blow when classmate and former Student Senate President Michael Conte was killed in a car accident in 2004.
This class was also faced with being the smallest class in more than a decade when they arrived on campus in the fall of 2002. This group also overcame two devastating floods in the Marietta region in late 2004 and early 2005.
The College also honored some of its finest graduates, including valedictorian Brandon P. Donelson-Sims of Sheffield Lake, Ohio, and salutatorian Samantha M. McKay of East Palestine, Ohio.
The men and women who received their degrees Saturday join the more than 18,000 Marietta College alumni/ae as members of the Long Blue Line.
One of the newest members to the Long Blue Line, Dr. Roderick G.W. Chu gave the commencement address. Moments earlier, Chu was conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
"You who are graduating today have grown in an environment in which your faculty and your fellow students have nurtured your development as individuals," said Chu, the former Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents. "Your fellow students told me of how Marietta's professors and staff care about you — and how that caring has created opportunities for you."
Marietta College officials also handed out more than 82 master's degrees, including the first four graduates of the Master of Arts in Psychology program.
MC faculty member, John Tynan, of the Department of Mathematics, was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award.