Commencement Ceremony Moved Indoors
Release Date: 05-14-2008
The University of Vermont will celebrate its 204th commencement on Sunday, May 18 at 9 a.m. Due to an unfavorable weather forecast, the ceremony will be held in the Multipurpose Facility in the Athletic Complex, with overflow seating available in the adjoining Patrick Gymnasium. Tickets are not required.
The College of Arts and Sciences ceremony, also previously scheduled to take place on the Main Green, will take place in the Multipurpose Facility at 2:30 p.m., and the Graduate College Hooding Ceremony on Saturday, May 17 at 1 p.m. has also moved indoors to the Patrick Gymnasium.
President Daniel Mark Fogel will confer degrees on an expected 2,596 graduates, including 2,069 bachelor's, 360 master's, 85 doctoral, and 82 M.D. degree recipients, in addition to 20 post-baccalaureate certificates. Among expected degree recipients are students from 46 states and 57 international students from 18 countries. Approximately 1,095 graduates are from Vermont. The graduating class includes 167 African, Latino/a, Asian and Native American (ALANA) and Bi/Multi-racial students.
Sharing the podium with President Fogel will be commencement speaker Julia Alvarez, Middlebury College writer-in-residence and prolific author of poetry, non-fiction, essays and novels, including How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies. Named Woman of the Year in 2000 by Latina Magazine, Alvarez's work is heavily influenced by the oral tradition of her parents' home country, the Dominican Republic, where she spent many of her early years. Nine years ago, she and her "companero," Bill Eichner, established Alta Gracia, a sustainable farm-literacy center in the Dominican Republic (cafealtagracia.com). In addition to growing organic, shade-grown coffee on the sixty-acre farm, the couple opened a school to help battle the norm of illiteracy in the country.
Receiving honorary degrees this year along with Alvarez will be Daniel Burack, a class of 1955 alumus, and his wife, Carole Burack, tireless volunteers and philanthropists who established the Dan and Carole Burack President's Distinguished Lecture Series, as well as a scholarship fund for students in teacher education; Eric Lipton, a class of 1987 alumnus, The New York Times Washington Bureau reporter, and 1992 winner of a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism for stories co-written about the flaw in the Hubble telescope; Sister Janice E. Ryan, a member of the Sisters of Mercy religious order and former president of Trinity College who has worked on projects to ban land mines and eliminate the death penalty, lobbied for mainstreaming special needs children, and served as Vermont's deputy commissioner of corrections; Gladys Clark Severance and Malcolm Severance, class of 1949 alumni and active members of the UVM community, where Malcolm served as professor, department chair, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and a two-term trustee, and the greater Burlington community, where Gladys taught junior high and high school math, co-founded a Meals-on-Wheels program, initiated Colchester's Girl Scout program, and managed Malcolm's four successful campaigns for the Vermont legislature.
From Saturday, May 17, 7 a.m. through Sunday, May 18, 5 p.m., University Place will be closed from Colchester Avenue to Main Street.
Parking on area residential streets is by city permit only. Parking at the university is available in designated lots. For details call (802) 656-8686 or visit the commencement parking website.
Buses will run on Sunday, May 18 from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every ten minutes from each stop. Bus stops include: Royall Tyler Theatre, Patrick Gymnasium, University of Vermont Conference Center at the Sheraton, Ag/Engineering lot, Allen House, Flynn Theatre, Hilton Burlington Hotel, north end of the University Green, and Trinity Campus. Signs, staff, and drivers will assist with directions. Commencement ceremony reference guides and campus maps, which also contain information about busing, are available at the desks of most area hotels.
Several of the colleges' ceremonies will feature distinguished speakers, including Chuck Ross, Vermont director for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, for the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources; Kenneth Wormser, business head and managing director of the structured credit products group for CDC-IXIS Capital Markets, for the School of Business Administration; and H. Jack Geiger, Medical Professor Emeritus at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at the City College of New York, for the College of Medicine, among others.
For a full schedule of commencement activities, visit the commencement website.