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Carleton College Prepares for its 139th Commencement Ceremony, Live Broadcast Offered

June 4, 2013
By Jacob Cohn '13

Live Broadcast

Carleton College will award the Bachelor of Arts degree to the 502 graduating members of the Class of 2013 on Saturday, June 15, in a ceremony beginning at 9:30 a.m. on the Bald Spot, the lawn west of Hulings Hall on the Carleton campus. A celebratory picnic on the Bald Spot will follow.  In the event of severe weather, commencement will be held indoors at the Recreation Center. Seating is available to accommodate all guests, whether outdoors or indoors, and no tickets are required.

A live broadcast of the ceremony is also available.  

Following remarks by Carleton College President Steven Poskanzer, two seniors will address the graduating class, chosen by a panel of their peers. This year’s senior commencement speakers are linguistics major Charlie Bentley (Springfield, Mo.) and religion major Chloe Zelkha (Woodside, Calif.).

Carleton College will then award honorary doctorates, the highest honor given by the College, to two recipients who will each briefly address the graduating class. This year’s honorary degree recipients are Bruce Alberts, former president of the National Academy of Sciences, and Michael S. Harper, a professor of English at Brown University and poet laureate emeritus of Rhode Island.

Bruce Alberts, a professor of biochemistry at the University of California at San Francisco, is the editor-in-chief of the academic journal Science and one of President Obama’s first three Science Envoys. Alberts, an alumnus of Harvard University, served as president of the NAS from 1993 until 2005, where he was instrumental in developing a set of science education standards that have been adopted nationwide. He is also one of the original authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, a leading textbook in its field now in its fifteenth edition. 

Michael S. Harper is the longest-serving professor in Brown University’s English department and was the first poet laureate of the state of Rhode Island from 1988 to 1993. He has received numerous honors for his work and has published over sixteen books of poetry, the most recent of which is Use Trouble (University of Illinois Press, 2009). Two of Harper’s books, Dear John, Dear Coltrane (1970) and Images of Kin (1977), were nominated for the National Book Award; the latter also received the Melville-Cane Award from the Poetry Society of America. 

For further information, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton College Office of College Relations at (507) 222-4309 or email The Bald Spot is located between College and Winona Streets on the Carleton College campus in Northfield.