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Speakers announced for 2024 undergraduate and graduate Commencement ceremonies

McDaniel College announces Commencement speakers for the 2024 undergraduate and graduate ceremonies to be held on Saturday, May 18. Undergraduate Commencement speaker is higher education leader Freeman A. Hrabowski III. Graduate coordinator Mona Kerby, the L. Stanley Bowlsbey Endowed Chair at McDaniel, will provide remarks during the graduate ceremony.

The Arch in Spring.
Freeman A. Hrabowski III

Freeman A. Hrabowski III

McDaniel College announces Commencement speakers for both the undergraduate and graduate ceremonies to be held on Saturday, May 18.

Higher education leader Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president emeritus of University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), is the Commencement speaker for the college’s undergraduate ceremony.

Hrabowski, who served as president at UMBC from 1992 to 2022, is an educator, author, and mathematician, known for his advocacy for science and math education, particularly for minority students.

Named one of the “100 Most influential People in the World” and one of America’s “10 Best College Presidents” by Time, Hrabowski is the recipient of numerous honors and recognitions and was named the inaugural ACE Centennial Fellow from the American Council on Education.

Mona Kerby, the L. Stanley Bowlsbey Endowed Chair at McDaniel College, provides remarks during the graduate ceremony. Kerby coordinates the college’s School Librarianship program and is coordinator of the Writing for Children and Young Adults and Learning Technologies Specialist certificate programs.

Mona Kerby

Mona Kerby

In addition, an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree will be awarded during the undergraduate ceremony to Greg Kahlert, president of the Kahlert Foundation, which provides grants to nonprofits, including McDaniel, along with other education, health care, youth programs, veterans organizations, and human services organizations. Kahlert was selected as Carroll Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2019 and the Kahlert Foundation was named the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Maryland 2017 Outstanding Foundation of the Year.

The college’s 154th Commencement ceremonies take place in Gill Center. The graduate ceremony is set for 10 a.m., while the undergraduate ceremony is at 2 p.m. Live video streams of both ceremonies will be available on Commencement day by visiting the Commencement webpage.

    Special Awards

    Special awards are also presented at McDaniel’s Commencement. Award winners are not revealed until the ceremonies. These awards include:

    • Undergraduate student awards: Argonaut Award, given to the graduating senior with the highest cumulative grade-point average, and The Edith Farr Ridington Writing Award for the best paper by a graduating senior.
    • Graduate student awards: The B. Jill Brooks Hodge Professional Development Award, given to a graduate student who has demonstrated academic excellence with a strong compassion for individuals with special needs and an interest in serving the deaf or disabled.
    • Faculty awards: The Ira G. Zepp Distinguished Teaching Award, recognizing inspired classroom work and dedication to students, and the Shelton Adjunct Faculty Award, given to an adjunct faculty member at the graduate or undergraduate level whose teaching demonstrates a commitment to excellence and genuine care for students.

    Additional Commencement-related events

    In conjunction with Commencement, several events are scheduled for Friday, May 17:

    Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony

    The six ROTC cadets pose together for a photo.

    McDaniel’s Green Terror Battalion Army ROTC program hosts its Commissioning Ceremony at 10 a.m. May 17 in Baker Memorial Chapel with seven graduating seniors from McDaniel being commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.

    Brigadier General Matthew N. Gebhard '93, who is currently deputy commanding general for operations at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Liberty, North Carolina, is the guest speaker.

    Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation

    College Schoars

    The annual Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation takes place at 6:30 p.m. May 17 in Baker Memorial Chapel. Graduating seniors receive academic, activity and leadership awards during the ceremony, including the including the Bates Prize and the Mary Ward Lewis Prize for the graduating seniors with the best undergraduate records.

    At 6 p.m., graduating seniors will process through Ward Memorial Arch prior to the Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation.