Approximately 300 to graduate at 173rd commencement on May 9

Many changes have taken place at Marietta College since the group of more than 400 incoming freshmen began moving into their residence halls on a sunny and hot Thursday mid-August morning.

Dawes Memorial Library was replaced with the Legacy Library, the Anderson Hancock Planetarium opened, the Legacy Campaign successfully came to a close, the Beiser Field Station was dedicated and the new Kremer Amphitheatre beckoned students to study outdoors.

But the most important changes have occurred in the students who have grown and matured into educated citizens during their time at Marietta. On Sunday, May 9, nearly 300 students will receive their undergraduate diplomas during the College’s 173rd Commencement ceremony inside the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center.

The day will be bittersweet for Grace O’Dell ’10 (Buffalo, N.Y.), who majored in Spanish and International Leadership Studies with the Latin American tract.

“The thing I will miss most after graduation will be how much this place feels like home,” O’Dell says. “After four years of life at Marietta, it will be a challenge to find another place that feels so welcoming.”

O’Dell is a McCoy Scholar who plans to continue her education at the graduate level, studying either public administration or public health. “Additionally, I would love to continue traveling and working with an international focus,” she adds.

Commencement 2010 will mark the close of the 175th anniversary celebration at Marietta College. Each graduate will receive a special medallion marking the occasion.

Joe Chlapaty, Board of Trustee member and parent of an alumnus, will be the featured speaker and given an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the ceremony.

As the final days of their senior year come to a close, members of the Senior Challenge Committee strive to complete both their finals and a successful Senior Challenge goal of reaching 61 percent participation. So far, the class has donated more than $1,400 to benefit the Marietta Fund. Committee members include O’Dell, Christina Cappadona (Mineral Wells, W.Va.), Natalie George (Wheeling, W.Va.), Lauren McKiernan (Parkersburg, W.Va.), Josh Mickle (Madison, Ohio), Kimberly Nelson (North Canton, Ohio), Hailee Stender (Middlebourne, W.Va.) and Logan Wern (North Canton, Ohio).