Elizabethtown College Celebrates Class of 2019
Elizabethtown College celebrated the Class of 2019 on Saturday, May 18 with its 116th Commencement ceremonies. In total, 683 graduates accepted their diplomas at a pair of ceremonies including the traditional Commencement held in The Dell and the Elizabethtown College School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) Commencement held in Leffler Chapel and Performance Center.
The day began with the Serpentine, an E-town tradition where faculty line the academic quad while the graduate’s process through, accepting congratulations, high-fives, and hugs from their professors. The Dell was full of family, friends, and colleagues of the graduates as they took their seats.
In her address, this year’s Commencement speaker, Lisa Aukamp Payne ’80, reflected on her own guiding principles that began to take hold in her formative years at E-town.
“When I considered what I could offer to an audience of over 400 high potential college graduates, I decided to share what have become my own guiding principles that I call my three G’s,” Payne said as she addressed the crowd.
Payne served as Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer at The Taubman Centers, Inc. for more than 19 years prior to her retirement and is the first alumna of the College to serve as commencement speaker in over a decade. She identified those three G’s as “Generosity, Grace, and remaining Grounded.”
“I pray that you will live Generous lives, filled with much Grace and Grounded in your values and beliefs. I can’t guarantee that all of your dreams will come true, but I can guarantee you will be fully satisfied that you have lived a life worth living,” Payne said.
President Carl Strikwerda addressed the Class of 2019 in what would be his final Commencement as E-town’s 15th President, prior to his retirement this summer.
“At Elizabethtown College, our belief in education has a special purpose because we also believe that education is not ours alone to enjoy,” Strikwerda said. “Education is most noble when used in the service of others. Educate for Service. Graduates of 2019, you have learned what those words mean.”
Also included in the ceremony, honorary degrees were conferred to Board of Trustee member Bernice H. Bollman ’60, F. Barry Shaw and Lisa Aukamp Payne ’80.
The SCPS Commencement also was held on Saturday and hosted Laura L Schanz ’07 as its Commencement Address speaker. Schanz is the Founder and President of Laura Schanz Consulting Associates, LLC. She also was presented with an honorary degree as a part of the ceremony.
Throughout the week, students celebrated senior week with events for seniors including a trip to a Philadelphia Phillies game, a Senior Class Breakfast, the annual President’s Picnic, and was capped off by a Baccalaureate service and Reflections by the Lake, held in Leffler Chapel on Friday night.