Carleton's 144th Commencement Ceremony

May 25, 2018

Carleton College will award the Bachelor of Arts degree to the 488 graduating members of the Class of 2018 on Saturday, June 9, in a ceremony beginning at 9:30 a.m. on the lawn west of Hulings Hall on the Carleton campus. A celebratory picnic will follow on the Bald Spot. In the event of severe weather, commencement will be held indoors at the Recreation Center. Seating is available to accommodate all guests and no tickets are required to attend. The ceremony will also be broadcast live online.

Following opening remarks by President Steven Poskanzer, two graduates will address their fellow classmates at this year’s ceremony: Adriana Castillo, an American studies/educational studies major from South Houston, Texas, and Walter Paul, a political science/international relations major from Omaha, Nebraska. Carleton will also confer honorary doctorate degrees upon two distinguished individuals. The highest honor given by the college, conferred honoris causa—“for the sake of honor”—this year’s honorary degree recipients are Hong Kong businessman Karl C. Kwok (Carleton Class of 1971) and Minneapolis humorist and playwright Kevin Kling, who will also briefly address the class.

Kwok serves as Chairman of the Board of the Wing On group, which owns one of Hong Kong’s largest department store chains as well as interests in hotels, real estate and financial services. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in government at Carleton and a Master of Business Administration degree from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Beyond his business success, Kwok is well known for his passion for open-ocean yacht racing, something he has participated in since 1979. Having won races around the world, he is on a mission to race in all the world’s biggest sailing races and to promote the sport in China. Interestingly, although he had lived near the sea all his life, the first time he ever sailed was as a Carleton student with his Northfield host family at their cabin on French Lake, outside Faribault. Kwok also serves as vice-president of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong.

Kling, best known for his popular commentaries on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and his storytelling stage shows like “Tales from the Charred Underbelly of the Yule Log,” delivers hilarious, often tender stories. Kling’s autobiographical tales are as enchanting as they are true to life: hopping freight trains, getting hit by lightning, performing his banned play in Czechoslovakia, growing up in Minnesota, and eating things before knowing what they are. The recipient of numerous arts grants and fellowships, Kling has not been slowed in his work despite a congenital birth defect (shortened left arm with no wrist or thumb) and a near fatal motorcycle accident that completely paralyzed his right arm. He continues to write plays and stories in a rigorous fashion, and travels around the globe to numerous storytelling festivals and residencies. He has released a number of compact disc collections of his stories and has published five books.

For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4308.