Marlboro College graduates class of 2019

26 undergraduates, 23 graduate students receive degrees and applause for the depth and scope of their work

MARLBORO — On May 12, the Marlboro College community celebrated the college's latest graduates with a ceremony in Persons Auditorium.

Degrees were conferred upon 49 graduates, including 26 undergraduates and 23 graduate students, who were applauded for their plans of concentration, capstone projects, and many other accomplishments.

“One of the great joys of living and working at Marlboro is to witness our students live their passions, learn new skills, and grow into engaged citizens,” said President Kevin Quigley in his remarks.

“Like a parent who is never supposed to make comparisons among children, at some risk I want to say: this graduating class is especially dear to me,” Quigley said. “We came to Marlboro at the same time and have learned so much together.”

The president cited the breadth of their interests demonstrated by this year's graduates, as illustrated by plans listed in the commencement program.

“To name just a few: the economics of unemployment in France, holistic education, sustainable agriculture, Christian understanding of suffering, anti-immigrant sentiment, economics of well-being, carnivore ecology, ceramic sculpture and cool Japan, approaches to gender, statistical and machine learning, and distributed networking.”

Learning a superpower

“I didn't know when I was attending Marlboro that I was actually training for this job that I would end up passionately want to do,” said radio producer Sean Cole, a 1993 graduate who works on the public radio broadcast and podcast This American Life and who was the commencement speaker and recipient of an honorary degree.

Cole, an honorary degree recipient, alluded to the original Karate Kid movie to illustrate how someone can learn something without knowing it.

“This has happened to me, in my life, over and over again. But here's the real way in which, all that time at Marlboro, I was actually learning karate, and you've been learning karate.

“Here's the superpower this place has given you. You have learned how to obsess about something - to focus on one thing for an extended period of time, and labor for long, difficult hours over months and months to produce a hardbound collection of orderly ideas about that thing.

“My dear, new siblings: that was hard what you did. You have already achieved something that initially seemed impossible.”

Kahn and Mason honored

Two other honorary degrees were also conferred to Emily Mason and Trustee Wolf Kahn, local artists and longtime college supporters.

Their daughter, Melany Kahn, accepted the degrees for her parents and share some of their words and their abiding interest in the college.

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