Commencement preview 2014: Speakers, awards, and more

Lieutenant General Flora Darpino, Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army, will speak and receive an honorary degree May 18 at Gettysburg College's 179th Commencement.

The 11 a.m. ceremony will take place – rain or shine – on the Beachem Portico on the north side of Pennsylvania Hall.

Graduates and their families can access all things Commencement, such as the complete schedule and information for graduates, on the 2014 Commencement webpage. You can join the conversation on social media with #gburg2014. The Commencement ceremony will be live streamed.

In addition to Darpino receiving a Doctor of Laws, honorary degrees will be presented to two individuals who are accomplished in their fields. The individuals and their degrees include record producer and music industry executive Clive Davis GP '14, Doctor of Fine Arts, and Bishop Callon Holloway ’76, Doctor of Divinity.

Brandon Tower '14, a dual-major in political science and international affairs with a minor in Italian studies, will represent the graduating class as the student speaker.

The Lavern H. Brenneman Award for Exemplary Volunteer Service to Gettysburg College will be presented to William T. ’63, P’86 and Jean Cleveland ’64, P’86 Kirchhoff during the Commencement Exercises.

The Gettysburg College Award for Distinguished Teaching will also be presented during the Sunday ceremony.

During Commencement Weekend, four alumni will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award. They include David L. Hamilton '63, Frank S. Martin '63, John L. Esterhai, Jr. M.D. '68 P'95 and Steven G. Littleson '83.

About Darpino

Darpino is a 1983 graduate of Gettysburg College, received her Juris Doctor from Rutgers University in New Jersey, and holds a Master of Laws degree in Military Law from The Judge Advocate General’s School. Her military education includes the Senior Service College Fellowship (Department of Justice), the Army Command and General Staff College, the Judge Advocate Officer Graduate Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and the Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course. Her husband, Colonel Chris O’Brien, is also a 1983 graduate of Gettysburg College.

In September 2013, Darpino was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and began serving as The 39th Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army. In the military’s 238-year history, she is the first female to hold this position.

During her service, she has been awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with one Silver Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Iraqi Campaign Medal. She is also entitled to wear the Air Assault Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Nikki Rhoads, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

Posted: Mon, 12 May 2014

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