On May 22, the Washington University Prison Education Project (PEP) conducted its first Commencement at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center in Pacific, Mo. Ten students earned associate’s degrees. The ceremony was held in the center’s visiting room.
“This piece of paper is your foundation and your anchor,” said speaker Stanley Andrisse, assistant professor at Howard University College of Medicine and himself a formerly incarcerated person. “Use it when you feel that you are falling. Education is transformative. Use it to rewrite your story.”
Joe Angeles, director of Washington University Photo Services, documented the day.
(From left:) Jerome Taylor, Jimar Johnson, Harvey Galler and Larry Marshall prepare for the ceremony.
Torey Adams gets a hug from the audience.
Barbara Baumgartner, associate director of PEP and a teaching professor in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies in Arts & Sciences; and PEP director Robert Henke, professor of drama and comparative literature in Arts & Sciences, lead the procession.
(From right:) Stanley Cook sings “America the Beautiful” while Robert Henke and Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton look on.
Danien Cobb delivers a tribute to PEP co-founder Margaret Garb, professor of history in Arts & Sciences, who died last December following a long battle with cancer.
Jimar Johnson chats with Bret Gustafson, associate professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences.
A visitor congratulates Larry Marshal.
(From left:) Larry Marshall chats with Robert Henke and Chancellor Mark Wrighton.
Robert Henke (in blue) confers with (from left) Torey Adams, Jerome Taylor, Jimar Johnson, Carl Brock and Mark Boyd.
Lerone Martin, associate professor in the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, chats with a student.