Ceremonies return indoors as students, staff and faculty gather to celebrate commencement
The Hogan Center, Art Smith Arena was packed with families and friends as the sounds of “Loch Lomond” bounced off the walls and the Alma College graduating Class of 2022 lined up to receive their diplomas.
The 135th year commencement was held on April 23 and it seemed like old times, following two years of graduation ceremonies being held outdoors or online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Outgoing Board of Trustees chair Eric Blackhurst ’83, Alumni Board President Dave DeLine ’11, 2022 Barlow Trophy recipient Blake Jonassen ’22 and guest speaker Robert Pinsky all addressed the audience; Will Nichols, the conductor of the Alma College Choirs, led the singing of the alma mater.
“Our years together at Alma may have been totally different than we were expecting ... but I have never been surrounded by more eager and resilient individuals prepared to make the world a brighter place,” Jonassen told those gathered in attendance. “I am unbelievably proud of the work we have done together to achieve true change here at the college.”
Honorary degrees were awarded to Pinsky, who served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1997 to 2000, and William Caldwell, formerly the head of the vocal and choral department at Central State University, in Wilberforce, Ohio.