This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Photo credit: Todd Shapera ’79

Commencement 2009

On Sunday, May 24, 2009, 616 Bachelor of Arts degrees were conferred upon the Class of 2009 in Vassar’s 145th commencement exercises. President Hill presided over the ceremony, which also featured remarks from Dean of the Faculty Jonathan Chenette, Senior Class President Luis Gabriel Hoyos ’09 (pictured), Chair of the Trustees William A. Plapinger ’74, and Commencement Speaker Matthew Spitzer, president of Doctors Without Borders USA. “It is not an entirely welcoming world that awaits you,” President Hill warned the graduates, “but it is a world that needs you.”

The ceremony marked the conclusion of an event-filled week celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2009, during which seniors brunched at a local winery, took over the lanes at Hoe Bowl, cruised down the Hudson on a party boat, and danced all night at Mahoney’s. In addition, the traditional Baccalaureate Service, which featured keynote speaker Dr. Claudia Thomas ’71, as well as the APAVC Lei Ceremony and the AAAVC Kente Cloth Ceremony, all served to commemorate both the accomplishments and the promise of this year’s graduating class.

New to the schedule this year was the first-ever Lavender Grad Reception, sponsored by the Campus Life LGBTQ Center, “for graduating seniors who identify as queer, questioning, and allies to the queer community.” The purpose of the reception, says Julie Silverstein, Vassar’s assistant director for campus life for LGBTQ programs, “was to honor the significant contributions to Vassar made by the queer and ally community.” The reception was also intended to “acknowledge some of the unique experiences queer students have at Vassar.” Rainbow tassels were given to all seniors in attendance, who were encouraged to wear them at Commencement to demonstrate their pride and support for Vassar’s LGBTQ community.

June 2009

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