The time has come! More than 2,700 to graduate

Class of 2013 celebrates commencement

This morning, more than 2,700 degree candidates will gather in Brookings Quadrangle for the 152nd Commencement ceremony, surrounded by family and friends, to celebrate and remember before embarking on the next part of their journey.

In addition to hearing words of inspiration from Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton and senior class president J.R. Davis, the graduates of Washington University in St. Louis will hear a commencement address from Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory A. Booker.

Named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine, Booker, 43, is credited with helping revitalize New Jersey’s largest city with his hands-on and innovative approach.

“It is my great expectation that our graduates will use their Washington University education, much like Mayor Booker has used his, to help bring benefit to their future communities,” Wrighton said.

Wrighton will confer degrees at the ceremony, which begins at 8:30 a.m.

In all, 2,752 candidates will receive 2,873 degrees today. About 52 percent, or 1,491, are graduate and professional degrees, with undergraduates making up the balance.

Order of exercise

Commencement begins with the traditional academic procession. Robert C. Drews, emeritus professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, is serving as grand marshal and will lead graduating students into the Quadrangle.

Alumni from the Class of 1963 — celebrating its 50th reunion — have been invited to march in the procession.

The Mighty Mississippi Concert Band of St. Louis, conducted by Dan R. Presgrave, director for the St. Louis Wind Symphony, is performing music for today’s ceremony, and ushering in the academic procession.

Kathleen Marie Redmon Neubling, a master’s degree candidate in music in Arts & Sciences, will sing “America the Beautiful.”

Wrighton and Stephen F. Brauer, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees and chairman, president and CEO of Bridgeton-based Hunter Engineering Co., will welcome the graduates.



Booker then will deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2013.

Booker, now in his second term as Newark’s mayor, has been instrumental in more than doubling the rate of affordable housing production; creating the city’s largest expansion of parks and recreation spaces in over a century; and bringing more than $1 billion of new economic development into the city, including its first office towers and hotels in decades.

He has attracted national attention for his education reform efforts to improve city schools; public safety initiatives to reduce crime; and innovative programs to help men and women leaving prison find jobs and reconnect with their community.


As class president, Davis will deliver the student commencement greeting. Davis will urge his classmates to remember their time at WUSTL and know that they are prepared for the challenges ahead.


“I plan to emphasize how our shared experience at Washington University has equipped the Class of 2013 with the potential to achieve incredible things,” he said. “In short, the themes to be included are the power of our collective talent and our capacity to meet the challenges facing our generation.”

Davis, who majored in political science and history in Arts & Sciences, will return to his hometown after graduation to work in operations management and marketing development for a Chicago-based security company.

Wrighton then will confer academic degrees, assisted by Edward S. Macias, PhD, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and the Barbara and David Thomas Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences. Diplomas will be presented at individual ceremonies throughout the day.

After the conferral of degrees, Wrighton will address the graduates.

Colleen McCormick Batty, who earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and international business in December, will sing the “Alma Mater.”

The song concludes the ceremony. Following the academic recession, the university’s schools will hold receptions for graduates and their guests.