Urged to “Give Back,” Class of 2010 Graduates With 80% Participation in Senior Gift

Posted May 20th, 2010 at 2:43 pm.

Photos of Commencement 2010 submitted by graduate student Alex Brey and the BMC Communications Office to the College's Commencement-themed Flickr group

“Nice women don’t change the world,” noted Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams at Bryn Mawr’s 2010 Commencement Convocation, urging graduates to speak up for their beliefs even when silence is the norm.

Fidelity to self, reliance on community, and responsibility to the world were themes sounded often amidst the celebration as Bryn Mawr conferred 320 bachelor’s degrees, 41 advanced degrees in arts and sciences, and 85 advanced degrees in social work and social research at a two-day ceremony last weekend.

At Saturday’s Convocation, Williams’ speech followed brief remarks by representatives of the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Undergraduate College.

President Jane McAuliffe announced that the Class of 2010 had achieved its stated senior-gift goal of exceeding last year’s 76-percent participation with a record-breaking 80-percent participation rate. In so doing, Bryn Mawr’s graduating seniors prevailed in a friendly competition with Haverford’s Class of 2010 (read about the Class of 2010’s postgraduation plans here).

Convocation was followed by Garden Party, for which each graduating senior chooses a “Garden Party Girl,” an underclasswoman assigned responsibility for staking out and decorating a space on Wyndham Green and serving her senior and her guests. About 2,500 revelers were served, among other things, 11,000 tea sandwiches, reports Director of Dining Services Bernie Chung-Templeton. Many families supplemented the traditional menu of finger sandwiches, petit fours, and other confections with food from their own ethnic culinary traditions: a number of world cuisines were represented.

At Sunday’s Commencement, McAuliffe announced special awards and delivered a salutation to the graduates before degrees were conferred. Noting that Bryn Mawr is about to celebrate its 125th anniversary, she observed that the College’s founding in 1885 represented new educational opportunities for women in the United States. She issued a call to make educational opportunity available to women around the world, a mission that will be the subject of a conference at the College next fall.

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