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69th Commencement Features Poetry, Prose and Song

Spring-Summer 2016

The New Yorker Editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Remnick was the keynote speaker at CMC’s 69th Annual Commencement on May 14. Remnick, who received an honorary degree from the College, discussed “dissent, speech, and politics,” recalling political protest and dissent when he was in college and comparing that time with what he sees today.

“Dissent, the mere fact of it … deserves respect. I have nothing but admiration for students who go about finding their political voices. It is not easy, not on any side. Dissent is a large part of the foundation of this country and the movement toward the horizon of a more perfect union, an equalitarian horizon that is never quite reached but constantly sought. This is a country largely built on dissent and sustained by it, from the Founding Fathers who, for all their myriad faults, began their civic lives not as statesmen, but as anti-Colonial rebels. To the abolitionists and the suffragists, the dissidents who have worked for civil rights, for women’s rights, gay, lesbian, and trans rights, to Hispanic rights marchers, the Act Up activists and marriage equality campaigners and onto the Black Lives Matter movement today.”

Professor of Literature Henri Cole read his poem “Land of Never-ending Holes.”

Class-elected speaker Varun Puri ’16 told graduates to “not get too attached to one life plan, to one notion of success, to one vision of what’s right or wrong.”

President Hiram Chodosh, in his charge to the graduating class, said: “No matter where you are or how far from 2016 your life takes you, re-create your CMC experience.”

The Student Marshal for the ceremony was Valedictorian Jared Austin Goldberg ’16. The Faculty Marshal was Professor William L. Ascher. The ceremony included the singing of Claremont McKenna by Registrar Elizabeth Morgan. CMCAA President Susan Matteson King ’85 P’18 gave the Alumni Greeting. Senior Class President Kathryn Margaret Chakmak ’16 introduced the keynote speaker.

Commencement festivities kicked off May 12 with 29 graduates honored as Phi Beta Kappa members at an initiation ceremony and dinner. On May 13, the Hooding Ceremony for Masters in Finance graduates took place. ROTC cadets received their commissions in a ceremony on the morning of May 14.

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