August 28, 2015

Congratulations to the College Class of 2014

Congratulations to the College Class of 2014
Graduates prepare for the commencement procession.
June 5, 2014

A clear, warm spring day set the scene for this year’s College commencement, held on Saturday, May 10. In all, 106 graduates make up the Class of 2014, 91 of whom received BAs and 15, BS degrees.

After welcoming graduating seniors, friends, and family to the College, President Jonathan Palmer offered special congratulations to the Class of 2014. “We first met officially in this same auditorium in September of 2010,” Dr. Palmer said. “We were all fairly new. I had recently come to Principia as president and you had just started at the College. We spent a few moments together after that first convocation, and I suggested to you that we would gather again here on your graduation day. And so we have. Congratulations.”

Also honored at commencement was Dr. Marie Jureit-Beamish, who was named professor emerita of music. Jureit-Beamish built the weekly Music at Davis program into a thriving opportunity for students to perform for campus audiences and worldwide Principia Internet Radio listeners. She also led several abroad programs to Europe, took numerous Arts on Tour groups around the country to perform for the larger Principia community, and spearheaded the College’s process of becoming an “All-Steinway School.” Jureit-Beamish joins a distinguished list of 67 emeriti faculty and staff.

Before awarding diplomas, Dr. Palmer welcomed Dr. Robyn S. Metcalfe (US’66) as this year’s commencement speaker. Scholar, agriculturalist, entrepreneur, and journalist, Metcalfe is currently a lecturer and research fellow in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Texas-Austin and director of their Food Lab. Metcalfe encouraged graduates to tap their innate curiosity as they take their next steps. “Our global conversation about the future is shot through with words like ‘unknown,’ ‘changing,’ ‘at risk, ‘unsustainable,’” Metcalfe said. “But you are completely and exceptionally prepared to defeat this suggestion, and you will do this by exercising your curiosity.”

As proof that she practices what she preaches, Metcalfe explained how curiosity has propelled her forward, even motivating her to complete a series of long-distance running events that took her across four deserts, through the European Alps, and up Mt. Kilimanjaro. “You are in an extraordinary position to defeat fear, to lean into life, to explore its nature, its harmony, its depth,” she told the graduates. “Take one step, get into the game, know that you are equipped to do this now.”

In the days leading up to commencement, graduating international students delivered speeches about their Principia experience, and four students chosen by their peers—Ben Frederick, Abigail Harraden, Emily Osborne, and Kynan Witters-Hicks—delivered baccalaureate speeches in Cox Auditorium. You can listen to Dr. Metcalfe’s full address as well as the student speeches on Principia Internet Radio.