DePauw’s Class of 2024 Celebrates Graduation



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Photos courtesy of Kisa Tamai '26 and Moe Kikuchi '27.


On Sunday, May 19, DePauw University hosted its 185th Commencement Ceremony, awarding 339 students from the Class of 2024 with their bachelor’s degrees. The event took place on East College lawn under a blazing sun, with DePauw’s Admissions building serving as the backdrop. 

Commencement began at 9:58 a.m. with a procession, led by Dr. Lori White and selected deans, faculty, and vice presidents of DePauw. This group carried DePauw’s lantern and mace to the stage, representing DePauw’s motto, “The college is the splendor and light of the common good.” Behind them, DePauw faculty followed in their academic regalia. The members of the Class of 2024 were close behind, taking their seats in front of the stage. 

University Chaplain Maureen Knudsen Langdoc opened the ceremony with an invocation, before introducing Grant Jackson ‘24, who sang a rendition of “America the Beautiful.” Dr. White then welcomed students, family, and friends to the ceremony. 

Following Dr. White’s welcome, 2024 Walker Cup recipient Aaron Trinidad ‘24 took the stage for the greetings speech. In his speech, Trinidad referenced American drag queen RuPaul Andre Charles, arguing that listeners shouldn’t “take life too seriously.” Trinidad ended his speech with a charge for the Class of 2024, stating, “If I want you to take away anything (from this speech), it is to love yourself.”

After Trinidad’s speech, Class of 1989 alumnus Douglas Hallward-Driemeier presented his commencement talk, titled “Considering Allyship as a Virtue.” Hallward Driemeier is well-known as a United States legal pioneer. His work includes serving as the assistant to the Solicitor General of the U.S. and advocating for marriage equality in front of the Supreme Court through Obergefell v. Hodges. In his speech, Hallward-Driemeier discussed his work as a lawyer, highlighting ways that he served as an ally for underprivileged communities. He referred to allyship as a form of “enlightened self-interest,” and charged the Class of 2024 to engage in allyship in their future endeavors. 

The ceremony then progressed towards awarding degrees. Dr. Daniel L. Mendoza ‘01 was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in public service from DePauw for his work as a social, economic, and environmental justice advocate. Five students received their Bachelor of Music, four received their Bachelor of Musical Arts, four received their Bachelor of Musical Education, and one student received a dual degree in Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts. 325 students received their Bachelor of Arts. 

DePauw then honored retiring faculty members, including Professor of Physics and Astronomy Dr. Mary P. Kertzman (1998-2024), Professor of Mathematics Dr. Nachimuthu Manickam (1986-2023), Professor of Asian Studies Dr. Sherry J. Mou (2002-2024), Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Dr. Jacqueline R. Roberts (1997-2024), Professor of English Dr. Michael L. Sinowitz (1999-2024), and Professor of English and Director of the Film and Media Arts Program M. Christine White (2002-2024). 

The commencement ceremony ended with a Charge to the Graduating Class by Dr. White, a Benediction by Langdoc, and a performance by Grant Jackson ‘24 of “A Toast to Old DePauw.” Faculty and students then performed the recession, ending at Stewart Plaza. Family and friends joined the new graduates for a reception, where students took photos, received gifts, and were celebrated for their achievements at DePauw.