Blue skies and sunshine for the Class of 2012
More than 300 graduates receive degrees (Slideshow & Video)
Published: Saturday, May 19, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2012 17:05
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.-- More than 300 students earned diplomas during the 158th annual Westminster College commencement ceremonies Saturday.
"We had 326 receiving degrees including those receiving masters," Assistant Registrar Colleen Hannon said. "This is the largest class so far for Westminster College."
The ceremony began with baccalaureate service at 10:30 a.m. in Orr Auditorium. The Rev. Dr. Scott Black Johnston, senior pastor of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, shared "Ignition." He was introduced by John Weisel, a 1979 Westminster graduate and chair of Westminster's Board of Trustees.
Watch graduates walk through the faculty gauntlet- part of a Westminster tradition for graduation.
The service included music by Westminster organist Kathryn Davison Miller and the Rev. James Latta, bagpiper and pastor of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Ellwood City; the Senior Choir under the direction of Dr. Robin Lind, associate professor of music and director of choral activities; and junior Daniel Goffus, choir accompanist, and seniors Megan Morrow and Kalyn Stevwing, who sang "How You Live."
Guests received a welcome from Dr. Jesse Mann, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College, and closing thoughts from Westminster College President Dr. Richard H. Dorman. Prayers were offered by the Rev. James Mohr II, college chaplain, and Father Thomas Lewandowski of St. Camillus Church in New Castle. Senior worship participants included: Ryan Brucker and Caitlyn Roberts, who read Scripture; Brian Mack, who led the call to worship; and William Armentrout, who led the litany of faith.
While waiting for the graduates to appear for the 2:30 p.m. Commencement ceremony, parents and friends were treated to music by Dr. Nancy Zipay DeSalvo, associate professor of music, at the organ and the Westminster College Faculty Brass Quintet: Robert Antonucci on tuba; Andrew Erb, a 1996 Westminster graduate, and Terry Gale on trumpet; Heather Johnson on horn; and Dr. R. Tad Greig on trombone.
Bagpiper Latta led the grand march and Zipay DeSalvo played "Pomp and Circumstance" as the graduates, faculty, trustees, and platform party entered. Dr. A. Dwight Castro, professor of classics, was the mace bearer and Dr. Gary Lilly, associate professor of sociology, was faculty marshal. Students were led by marshals Dr. Jamie McMinn, associate professor of psychology, and Dr. Richard Sprow, professor of English.
The opening declaration was made by Weisel and the Rev. Mohr gave the invocation. President Dorman offered greetings and led the rededication of Weisel Senior Terrace. The terrace underwent major renovations last fall including an expansion to accommodate this year's large graduating class.
An honorary degree, doctor of science, honoris causa, was presented to Dr. Kim Dunbar, Davidson Professor of Science at Texas A&M University, one of America's premiere chemists and a 1980 Westminster graduate. She was introduced by Dr. Peter Smith, associate professor of chemistry.
Dunbar, who earned a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Purdue University, did post-doctoral research at Texas A&M, then joined the Michigan State University faculty, where she rose to the rank of University Distinguished Professor.
Since her return to Texas A&M in 1999, she has become world-renowned for her research in several areas of physical and inorganic chemistry, including breakthroughs in organic/inorganic composite materials, molecular magnetism, and metal-based chemotherapy.
She is the author of more than 300 publications that include scientific articles, conference papers, reviews, and book chapters; serves as associate editor of Inorganic Chemistry; and is past secretary and chair of the American Chemical Society's Division of Inorganic Chemistry.
Dunbar has been honored with distinguished alumna awards from Westminster College and Purdue University. Her professional honors include an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation fellowship; a Camille and Henry Dreyfus teacher-scholar award; and fellowships in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemists, and the American Chemical Society.