May 8, 2021: I gave an encore of the Faculty Farewell to the Albion College Class of 2020 on a gorgeous May afternoon, on the Quad. What a delight to be able to see the 60 graduates who attended face-to-face, after our heartbreaking loss of an in-person ceremony in 2020. And what an honor for them to set some interesting records that may never be broken:
- the 1st class to have a virtual commencement;
- the 1st class to have two commencements; and
- the 1st class to be congratulated by two different college presidents.
These records didn’t really surprise me, I told them, because Albion College graduates have gone on to make or break all sorts of records:
- Madelon Louisa Stockwell Turner, Class of 1862, was the first woman ever to be accepted into the University of Michigan. That was in 1870.
- Dwight B. Waldo, Class of 1887, was the first-ever President of Western Michigan University, a position he held for 32 years.
- Forest Ray Moulton, Class of 1894, is Albion’s only alum to have a crater on the Moon named after him.
- Lee Barlett, Class of 1929, is the only known Albion College and MIAA athlete to compete in the Olympics – and he did it 3 times!
- John W. Porter was the first Black president of Eastern Michigan University.
- Walter Pomeroy helped to create and celebrate the first Earth Day.
I reminded the Class of 2020 that they are members of a global generation of two classes of Albion College graduates who have experienced a college education like no other. I also urged them to make their lives stellar, to achieve and break records like the Albion College alumni who came before them, and to remember that they can always come home to Albion College. Like they did today.
Video of the ceremony; my part starts at 1:07:00.
Albion College News article about the 2020 and 2021 graduation ceremonies