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Pierce Brosnan Urges Dickinson College Class of 2019 to 'Make Something That Matters'

Pierce Brosnan delivers Dickinson College's 2019 Commencement address.

Pierce Brosnan delivers Dickinson College's 2019 Commencement address.

Video by Joe O'Neil

Dickinson celebrates the graduation of its largest class ever

by Matt Getty; photos by Carl Socolow '77

Dickinson College honored 597 graduating seniors—the largest graduating class in the college's history—on Sunday, May 19, as Commencement speaker, actor, producer and environmental activist Pierce Brosnan urged them to "make something that matters."

"I have worn the tuxedo, so I can tell you this: Our world doesn't need you to chase the super-spy lifestyle," said Brosnan, known in part for playing James Bond in four films. "When you leave here today, I urge you to pursue something that is as exciting to you as it is important to the world."

Commencement 2019

 

AWARD WINNERS

During the ceremony, several faculty members and students were recognized with awards, which are bestowed each year at Commencement.

Associate Professor of English Claire Seiler earned the college's Constance and Rose Ganoe Memorial Award for Inspirational Teaching. Presented each year, the honor is determined by a secret-ballot vote conducted by members of the graduating class. Professor of Anthropology Ann Hill won the Distinguished Teaching Award. 

Moyi Tian ’19 was presented the James Fowler Rusling Prize, which recognizes excellent scholarly achievement. Tian will pursue a graduate degree in applied mathematics at Brown University. Mary Katherine Levangie ’19 received the John Patton Memorial Prize for High Scholastic Standing. Levangie will spend the next two years working at the Opossum Pike Veterinary Clinic in Maryland before attending veterinary school.

Moyi Tian ’19, the James Fowler Rusling Prize winner, and Mary Katherine Levangie ’19, the winner of the John Patton Memorial Prize for High Scholastic Standing, pose with Dickinson President Margee Ensign.

Moyi Tian ’19, the James Fowler Rusling Prize winner, and Mary Katherine Levangie ’19, the winner of the John Patton Memorial Prize for High Scholastic Standing, pose with Dickinson President Margee Ensign.

The Hufstader Senior Prizes, which are awarded annually to two graduating seniors who, in the judgment of the college president, have made the greatest contributions to the good of the college, were awarded to John Adeniran ’19 and Olivia Termini ’19.

Hufstadter Prize winners Olivia Termini and John Adeniran pose with Dickinson President Margee Ensign.

Hufstader Prize winners Olivia Termini ’19 and John Adeniran ’19 pose with Ensign.

Adeniran was a co-student leader of the MANdatory program and a member of Scroll & Key. He led bible study groups in the Dickinson Christian Fellowship, served as an emerging leaders’ mentor, was a member of the first-place 2018 innovation competition team, held  several jobs across campus and was recently named “student leader of the year” by the Office of Student Leadership & Campus Engagement.

Termini served as the Dickinson Carlisle Borough Ambassador, a Montgomery Service Leader and member of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, through which she worked on service projects with Carlisle CARES, Safe Harbour, King’s Gap Environmental Education Center, Carlisle YMCA, the Salvation Army and others. She is a two-year captain of the women’s soccer team, a member of the Dickinson Sustainable Investment Group, an athletic eco-representative and member of the Dickinson College Catholic Ministry. 

Sarah Nash ’19 was named the new Young Alumni Trustee. During each Commencement since 2011, Dickinson’s Board of Trustees has chosen a Young Alumni Trustee from among nominated seniors to represent young alumni on the board and serve a two-year term.

Sarah Nash '19, Dickinson's new Young Alumni Trustee, poses with College President Margee Ensign and Board of Trustees Chair John Jones III '77, P'11.

Sarah Nash '19, Dickinson's new Young Alumni Trustee, poses with College President Margee Ensign and Board of Trustees Chair John Jones III '77, P'11.

HONORARY DEGREES AND ROSE-WALTERS PRIZE

In addition to awarding Brosnan a Doctor of Environmental Advocacy honorary degree, Dickinson awarded two other honorary degrees during the ceremony as well as the Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism.

Karen Attiah, the Washington Post's global opinions editor, poses with Ensign and 
Associate Professor of Sociology Erik Love after receiving her Doctor of Journalism honorary degree.

Karen Attiah, the Washington Post's global opinions editor, poses with Ensign and Associate Professor of Sociology Erik Love after receiving her Doctor of Journalism honorary degree.

Karen Attiah, the Washington Post's global opinions editor, received a Doctor of Journalism honorary degree for her pursuit of global social justice through journalism. Dickinson alumnus and international hotelier Adrian Zecha ’52 was presented a Doctor of International Business honorary degree recognizing his work creating Aman Resorts, which combines elegant, boutique accommodations with a minimalist and environmentally sensitive approach.

Adrian Zecha ’52, who was was presented Doctor of International Business honorary degree, poses with his daughter, Adya Zecha; 
Assistant Professor of International Business & Management Xiaolu Wang; and Ensign.

Adrian Zecha ’52, who was presented a Doctor of International Business honorary degree, poses with his granddaughter, Adya Zecha '19; Assistant Professor of International Business & Management Xiaolu Wang; and Ensign.

This year's Rose-Walters Prize went to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in recognition of its work defending America’s wildlands, including the Arctic National Refuge, Bristol Bay in Alaska and the monuments of the West. Brosnan and NRDC Western Director and Senior Attorney Joel Reynolds accepted the prize on behalf of the international environmental advocacy organization.

Pierce Brosnan and NRDC Western Director and Senior Attorney Joel Reynolds accept the Rose-Walters Prize on behalf of the NRDC.

Pierce Brosnan and NRDC Western Director and Senior Attorney Joel Reynolds accept the Rose-Walters Prize on behalf of the NRDC.

"It is an inspirational and well-earned recognition," said Brosnan. "A prize generously created to support the noblest of work."

The college also awarded posthumous degrees to two members of the class of 2019, Jigme Nidup ’19 and Lauren Lau ’19.

Completing the Journey

Following a long-held college tradition, the Commencement ceremonies ended with the graduates walking down Old West’s "old stone steps" to complete the journey they began four years ago by walking up those steps to sign in to the college. "You follow generations of Dickinsonians spanning more than two centuries to proceed down these steps to your new lives," said Dickinson President Margee Ensign who presided over the ceremonies.

Commencement 2019

 

Among the graduates:

Watch Brosnan's Full Remarks

View the full ceremony.

TAKE THE NEXT STEPS

Published May 19, 2019