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Graduate with Cap on

Former astronaut offers inspiring words to 172nd graduating class

Marietta College's approximately 300 graduates may be entering one of the toughest job markets in more than a decade, but the keynote speaker at Sunday's 172nd Commencement ceremony told them life happens and to trust their instincts.

"When you get to a fork in the road don't be afraid to just leap off," said Dr. Story Musgrave ’60, H'83. Prior to Sunday’s speech, Musgrave, a former NASA astronaut who holds seven advanced degrees and more than 20 honorary degrees, was the keynote speaker at Friday’s dedication ceremony for the Anderson Hancock Planetarium.

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Sunny and with temperatures reaching 68 degrees, the conditions outside were as bright and positive as the emotions of the graduates and the more than 2,000 others who gathered in the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center.

Marietta's sentiment was proudly on display during the Jewett Orations.

Both Jakob Loukas (Windham, Maine) and Heather K. Boomer (Monument, Colo.) gave uplifting and inspirational speeches. Loukas claimed first place with "A Cause Greater than Me." Loukas told the crowd, "I encourage all of us to take a risk to help the greater good. Perhaps that service will not be so great as to honor us as leaders and heroes, but if just one of us finds a cause that matters more than ourselves, we can start a revolution. If that person chooses to lead, we can follow and together arrive at a better world.”

Loukas' speech

Boomer's speech

The College also honored some of its finest graduates, including co-valedictorians Bonnie E. Smith (Canton, Ohio) and Marcie B. Turner (Newport, Ohio), and salutatorian Kelsie L. McCartney (Marietta, Ohio). Also acknowledged was Diana M. Hackenburg (Clyde, Ohio) with the William Bay Irvine Medal.

The men and women who received their degrees Sunday join the more than 24,000 Marietta College alumni/ae as members of the Long Blue Line. The senior class also raised $2,826 for the Marietta Fund, which was matched by the Marietta College Alumni Association and the Board of Trustees for a total donation of $8,652.

Marietta faculty member, Dr. Nicole Livengood, of the English Department, was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award in her first year at the College.