Class of 2015: Preparing for the 180th Commencement

Due to inclement weather, the reception held after Commencement has been moved indoors. It will be held in both the Dining Center and the first floor of the College Union Building.

Gettysburg College will hold its 180th Commencement – rain or shine – during a May 17th ceremony that will take place on the Beachem Portico on the north side of Pennsylvania Hall at 11 a.m.

Graduates and their families can access all things Commencement, such as the complete schedule and information for graduates, on the 2015 Commencement webpage. Additionally, specific information for graduates and their families is provided with a unique webpage for each, along with information pertaining to the  Baccalaureate ceremony.

You can join the conversation on social media with #gburg2015. The Commencement ceremony will be live streamed.

A Special Commencement ceremony – which will also be live streamed – will take place on Thursday, May 13 for seven members of the women’s lacrosse team, who may be unable to attend the Sunday ceremony as they advance into the NCAA tournament. While the men’s lacrosse team is also advancing into the tournament, their schedule will allow them to participate in the Sunday ceremony.


NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will deliver the keynote commencement speech, and will also receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service for his commitment to the defense of the United States, as well as for his leadership towards the country’s successful advancement into Space.

Gettysburg alum Fred Fielding ’61 and CSPAN-founder Brian Lamb will also be receiving honorary degrees – Fielding, Doctor of Law, for his professional achievement and dedication to his alma mater, and Lamb, Doctor of Journalism, for changing the face of political coverage for an entire generation.

Baltimore City College High School alumna Nadéjiah Towns has been selected as the 2015 student commencement speaker. A sociology major, Towns will be graduating Cum Laude during the ceremony.

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

Over the course of the weekend, the Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to Kathryn A. Morris ’92, H. Scott Higgins ’67, Orin S. Levine ’88, and Sandra Berlin Walker ’78.

About Bolden

Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr. was first appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy upon his graduation from high school in 1964. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Science in 1968 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps, flying over 100 combat missions during his time as a naval aviator.

He continued his military service upon his return to the United States and was assigned to the Test Pilot School in Maryland, where he was ultimately selected as an astronaut candidate in 1980.

He worked with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for 14 years, traveled to orbit four times and commanded two of those four missions.

Leaving NASA in 1994, Bolden returned to the Marine Corps active duty, where he received numerous military decorations, including the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in May 2006.

In  2009, Bolden was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as NASA’s twelfth Administrator. Since then, he has led the agency in developing a Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft that can carry astronauts to deep space destinations. He has overseen the unprecedented landing on Mars of the Curiosity rover, the launch of a spacecraft to Jupiter, and enhanced the nation’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites. At the same time, he has continued progress towards the 2018 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. 

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: Kasey Varner, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6806

Posted: Wed, 13 May 2015

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