St. John’s College to graduate 93 on Mother’s Day

| May 9, 2017
Rams Head

St Johns McDowell HallNinety-three St. John’s College seniors, having completed their senior essays and defended them in oral examinations, are expected to receive their diplomas at the college’s 225th commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 14 at 10:30 a.m. Seventeen students in the Annapolis Graduate Institute will receive their master’s degrees. A tradition at St. John’s, the senior class selects the commencement speaker, typically notable alumni and beloved members of the faculty. This year, St. John’s President Christopher B. Nelson will address the graduates.

Christopher Nelson, who will retire on June 30, 2017, has been president of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, since June 1991. Nelson is an 1970 alumnus of St. John’s College, Santa Fe and a graduate of the University of Utah College of Law (J.D. 1973), where he founded and directed the university’s student legal services program. He practiced law in Chicago for 18 years and was chairman of his law firm when he left the practice to take his current position at St. John’s College.

Nelson is a national spokesperson for the liberal arts, participating actively in the national conversation about higher education. Frequently a panelist and speaker on state, regional, and national programs, he has addressed issues of institutional autonomy in the face of government regulatory intrusion and changes proposed in the accrediting system. Among his many awards and honors, Nelson was the 2014 recipient of the Henry Paley Award, awarded by the National Association of Colleges and Universities. The award “recognizes an individual who, throughout his or her career, has unfailingly served the students and faculty of independent higher education. The recipients of this award have set an example for all who would seek to advance educational opportunity in the United States.” Locally, Nelson’s interests include government, the arts, and historic preservation.

Another commencement tradition, the ceremony opens with a procession of faculty and students led by St. John’s faculty member David Townsend on the tree-lined front lawn. A handful of prizes and honorable mentions are awarded before each student is given a diploma and congratulated by President Nelson.

Ten of this year’s graduating seniors and four of the master’s candidates are Maryland residents. The graduating seniors from Maryland include: Grace Alexandra Athanas-Linden, of Bethesda; Jessica Crystal Benya, of Silver Spring; Haley Jewell Ford, of Charlotte Hall; Nathan Lee Griffith, of Bowie; John Edmund Himes, of Catonsville; Connor Patrick Hocking, of Annapolis; Salomea Anna Jankovic, of Kensington; Thomas Joseph Pack, of Chevy Chase; Jean-Claude Christian Pineau, of Edgewater; Claudia Joy Vaughn, of Gaithersburg; and Daniel Edward Wilson, of Dunkirk.

In case of rain, commencement exercises will take place in Francis Scott Key Auditorium from 10:15 a.m. to noon. College Avenue will be closed to traffic from St. John’s Street to King George Street; the first block of Prince George Street will be closed as well.

For more information: www.sjc.edu.

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