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Washington and Lee University to Celebrate 236th Commencement, Baccalaureate W&L celebrates its 236th undergraduate Commencement Thursday, May 25, at 10 a.m.

Washington and Lee University celebrates its 236th undergraduate Commencement Thursday, May 25.

University President William C. Dudley will address the graduates at the 10 a.m. ceremony on the Front Lawn of the main campus. James Torbert, 2021-2023 President of the Executive Committee of the Student Body, will speak on behalf of the Class of 2023.

Commencement festivities begin Wednesday, May 24, at 10 a.m. on the Front Lawn with the traditional Baccalaureate service, featuring speaker Mary H. Hipp ’90. Hipp is co-founder and board chair of Feed & Seed, a Greenville, South Carolina nonprofit whose mission is to connect regional farmers with organizations and individuals that have had difficulty finding supplies of fresh, locally grown and produced food. As an alumna, Hipp has served in numerous leadership roles in the South Carolina Piedmont Alumni Chapter and supported the university’s Annual Fund, The Class of 1990 Scholarship Endowment, and the John and Anne Wilson Honor Scholarship. She was recognized for her service to and support of both the university and her community with a Distinguished Alumna Award in 2015.

Also speaking at the Baccalaureate service is this year’s recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, Tahri Phillips, of Wrightsville, Pennsylvania. Phillips was selected by the faculty as the individual who best demonstrates high ideals of living, spiritual qualities and generous service to others.

During the commencement ceremony on Thursday, W&L will recognize 19 retiring members of the faculty and staff, who represent a total of more than 474 years of service.

11 graduating seniors have accepted Fulbright grants for postgraduate international work.

  • Ava Boussy, a biology and art history double major from Westminster, Maryland, will study Buddhist shrines and temples in Ladakh, India.
  • Finn Connor, a cognitive and behavioral science and theater double major from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, will work as an English language teaching assistant in Germany.
  • James Dixon, an international politics major from Birmingham, Alabama, will work as an English language teaching assistant in Taiwan.
  • Kamryn Godsey, a sociology and anthropology major from Surry County, Virginia, will work as an English language teaching assistant in Taiwan.
  • Maggie Hawley, an English major from Silver Spring, Maryland, will work as an English language teaching assistant in Spain.
  • Lily Mott, a journalism and politics double major from Evergreen, Colorado, will study digital media and society at Cardiff University in Wales.
  • Tanajia Moye-Green, a sociology and anthropology double major from Bartow, Florida, will study criminal justice and penal change at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.
  • Avalon Pernell, a journalism and German double major from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will conduct independent research in Germany through the Young Professional Journalist Program.
  • Andrea Rojas, a global politics major from Cathedral City, California, will work as an English language teaching assistant in Mexico.
  • Allie Stankewich, a sociology and environmental studies double major from Guilford, Connecticut, will work as an English language teaching assistant in Uganda.
  • Andrew Tartakovsky, a politics and business administration double major from Columbia, Maryland, will work as an English language teaching assistant in Azerbaijan, his parents’ homeland.

Five seniors also received scholarships for postgraduate work.

  • Nayongi Borthwick, a studio art and French double major from Mayfield Heights, Ohio, was selected to participate in the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF).
  • Wren Markley, an East Asian languages and literatures (Japanese) major from New Berlin, Illinois, received a Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program award.
  • Ellie Penner, an art history and politics double major from Boulder, Colorado, received a Boren Scholarship to study Hindi in India.
  • Allie Stankewich also received a Davis Projects for Peace Grant to support a nutrition project with local counterparts in Tanzania.
  • Tahri Phillips, a cognitive and behavioral science and English double major from Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, was selected as W&L’s 18th Rhodes Scholar and will begin graduate studies at the University of Oxford in England.

In the event of rain, events will be held at Virginia Military Institute’s Cameron Hall, and the W&L community will be notified by broadcast e-mail, a notice on the university’s website and other means. Full details on all Commencement activities at W&L can be found at wlu.edu/commencement. The Commencement ceremony will also be streamed online at livestream.com/wlu.