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Beloit College hold its commencement

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Catherine W. Idzerda
May 14, 2012
— Beloit College President Scott Bierman was funny.

Commencement speaker Michael D. Young, Class of '69, spoke thoughtfully about his time at Beloit and about the cultural changes that have brought the country forward since then.


But it was the mortarboards that made that day.


Yes, yes, 325 bright young people destined to do great things—while at the same time making the world a better place—crossed the stage to receive their diplomas at Sunday's graduation ceremonies.


It was uplifting. It was inspirational.


But the mortarboards made the day. They demonstrated the spirit of creative competition that exists at the best liberal arts colleges. These graduates don't just think outside the box; they throw away the clichéd box and search for a new metaphor for creativity.


A sampling of that spirit was shown by:


Nathan Carroll of Festus, Mo., who graduated cum laude with a major in history and a political science minor. Thor's hammer—or perhaps it was just an ordinary mallet—was embedded in Carroll's mortarboard.


Continuing the Norse theme was David Feldman of Morris, Ill., who graduated magna cum laude in anthropology with a philosophy and religious studies minor. His mortarboard featured a miniature Viking helmet complete with horns.


Marissa Davis Berrier, a health and society major and an Asian studies minor from Ankeny, Iowa, decorated her mortarboard with a banana encased in latex. Presumably, the banana equals "health" while the latex covering represents "society."


Julia Friberg of Rockford, Ill., graduated magna cum laude with anthropology and Spanish majors and a museum studies minor. Neatly glued to her mortarboard were three balls of yarn impaled with knitting needles.


Devon Armstrong of Delavan graduated with departmental honors in anthropology and classical civilization with a museum studies minor. His mortarboard featured a faux stone tablet with ancient runes on it.


In other cases, students let words and simple images express their feelings.


The mortarboard of Sarah Healey of Carmel, Ind., a comparative literature and health and society major, sported a sign reading, "Let the adventure commence."


Molly Dickson of Egg Harbor majored in molecular, cellular and integrative biology. The foam letters on her mortarboard read: "Thanks Mom and Dad" and "Happy Mother's Day."



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