Commencement Week 2012: A time of celebration, reflection

Commencement week begins Monday, May 14, with a variety of celebrations and ceremonies designed to warmly send Washington University in St. Louis’ Class of 2012 out into the world.

First up: The Chancellor’s Dinner to Honor Graduating Seniors at 6 p.m. May 14. More than 1,200 are expected at America’s Center ballroom as Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton and the WUSTL community celebrates the accomplishments of the class and acknowledges its positive impact.

Beginning Wednesday, May 16, more than a dozen distinguished individuals will speak at Commencement-related events for graduates and their friends and families.

The weeklong celebration culminates at 8:30 a.m. Friday, May 18, with the 151st Commencement ceremony in Brookings Quadrangle in which more than 2,700 candidates will receive degrees. Pulitzer-Prize winning cartoonist and WUSTL alum Mike Peters will deliver the address.

Other speakers and events this week are:

Rebecca Craik, PhD, professor and chair of physical therapy, Arcadia University, for the Program in Physical Therapy at 1:30 p.m. May 18 in the Khorassan Ballroom, The Chase Park Plaza, 212 N. Kingshighway. Student speaker is Amy Zurcher, candidate for a doctorate in physical therapy.

Wayne Fields, PhD, senior faculty adviser in the College of Arts & Sciences and the Lynne Cooper Harvey Distinguished Professor of English in Arts & Sciences and professor of American culture studies, for the College of Arts & Sciences Recognition Ceremony at 10 a.m. May 17 in the Field House in the Athletic Complex. Student speaker is Ashley Brosius, bachelor’s candidate in women, gender, and sexuality studies, anthropology and political science, all in Arts & Sciences.

Despite a week’s worth of events and activities, students can’t help but smile at the annual Commencement ceremony in the Quad. (Credit: David Kilper)