May 10, 2014 | By Jake Weber (photos by Dave Lawrence)
The late spring made for a Commencement in full bloom on Albion College's quadrangle on May 10. Family members enjoyed sunshine and flowering trees as they celebrated the members of the Class of 2014.
Retiring economics and management professor Dan Christiansen was recognized for his 33-year tenure at Albion and granted emeritus faculty status. Susan Conner, who will retire June 30 after a successful six-year tenure as Albion's provost, was also recognized, as was 1850s alumna Rev. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw—the women's suffrage leader received a posthumous honorary degree.
Board of Trustees Chair Don Sheets, '82, acknowledged the work of 2013-14 Interim President Mike Frandsen, the former vice president for finance and administration who will join Oberlin College in a similar VP role in July. "I believe his administration in the past year has been one of the most consequential in the modern history of the College," said Sheets. Among many of Frandsen's accomplishments, "he attended to the spirit of the College community," Sheets said. "We thank you for your service to Albion College."
Senior speaker Shonté Daniels recalled some of the Class of 2014's experiences, from choosing a mascot to losing the venerable "Albion time" and promoting sustainability efforts on campus. "What remains is our impact, the changes we made and the insights we created," she said. "We can now show the world how tough we are, and how eager we are to shape the world—like Albion—for the better."
The Commencement speaker was Fedele Bauccio, founder and CEO of Bon Appétit Management Company, which provides Albion's dining services with a focus on locally supplied ingredients and from-scratch cooking. An activist on behalf of sustainable and humane food production, Bauccio told the audience about his work with the Pew Commission, looking at ways to reform the industrial agricultural model, which he described as "past ethical and environmental acceptability."
You can make a contribution to a safer and healthier world," Bauccio charged the graduates. "You are graduating in the most amazing of times ... The education you have earned gives you a responsibility to imagine better and make an impact. Take the responsibility and the impact to restore the beauty of this earth."
Art professor Lynne Chytilo gave the faculty charge to the class, likening their post-graduation lives to a game of Scrabble. "Chance is still a factor ... but the more skill you have with language, vocabulary and strategy, the more you can do with the letters you have," she said. "Remember, chance favors the prepared mind."