By: Charlotte Cheek ~Staff Writer~
As the school year comes to a close the class of 2016 is preparing for the 178th Annual Commencement. The undergraduate ceremony will take place on May 14 at 9 a.m., and the graduate ceremony will follow at 3 p.m.
Each year, a distinguished professional is invited to speak at the Commencement and awarded an Honorary Degree. Past speakers have included Adobe creator Charles Geschke and astronaut Neil Armstrong.
This year’s undergraduate speaker will be Lynn Marmer, the former Vice President of Corporate Affairs of Kroger.
Marmer, a University of Cincinnati grad, retired early this year after 18 years at Kroger. She is still active in the Cincinnati community and has made strives to reduce hunger worldwide. One of her biggest projects was the Perishable Donations Partnership, an organization which encouraged supermarkets to donate food which can’t be sold but is still perfectly good to eat to food banks.
“She’s been a strong supporter of Xavier for a long time”Scott Chadwick, Provost and Chief Academic Advisor said. “I find her to be amazing. I’ve known her for a number of years. She really cares about people, and she cares about helping people have better lives. She tries to empower them, understand the systems they live in, and educate people all around her sphere of influence to try to come up with workable solutions with people and cities.”
In addition to the guest speaker, the Xavier Commencement is known for a number of other factors.
After the graduates process in and the stage party enters, Father Graham is the last to enter.
“He does a tremendous job at ramping up the crowd. I’ve been to a lot of universities, and I’ve never seen someone who gets everyone in the mood as well as he does,” Chadwick said.
In the eyes of the administration, this is a class to remember.
“I think the class of 2016 have done a really good job of understanding what the mission of the university is and what the student commitment is and really integrating it into what they’re doing,” Chadwick said. “It’s been an appropriately productive class.”
The ceremony’s finale is expected to impress. However, the details wont be disclosed.
“We never say what the ending will be. You’ve got to see it to believe it.”” There are slight twists every year,” Chadwick said.