Castleton celebrates 228th Commencement with the largest graduating class in the school’s history

Courtesy of Castleton State College

Elementary Education graduate Meghan Susslin, of St. Albans, Vt. shakes a congratulatory hand during the commencement celebration, Saturday, May 9.

CASTLETON — The largest class in Castleton College history passed across the stage at its 228th commencement ceremony on Saturday, bringing to close the 2014-15 academic year. Tim Donovan, former Chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges, addressed the more than 3,500 people in attendance and thousands more watching online.

Donovan spoke about the sweeping technological changes the world has experienced, and the importance of education in the face of change.

“As much as it may have seemed important during finals week, the specific knowledge you’ve mastered in your studies has not been an ‘end,’ but merely a ‘means’ for preparing you to continuously learn,” said Donovan. “Today is ‘commencement’ – the beginning, not the end of your education. And at no time in history has this been more true.”

As has become tradition, Castleton President Dave Wolk began the proceedings with the presentation of three awards. Retiring professor of athletic training, John Feenick was awarded the Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty Award, given annually to the faculty member whose excellence in teaching influences students well beyond graduation. Rachel Orr was honored with the Leonard C.Goldman (’59) Distinguished Senior Award, an annual honor given to the graduating senior who has excelled in and out of the classroom, contributed to community service, and served as an example to others. J. Douglas Sinclair, part-time faculty member in physics, was awarded the Endowed Outstanding Part-time Faculty Award.

Castleton class President Cassandra Pinaire also addressed the crowd, in which every seat was taken with many standing to watch. When the Flagstaff, Ariz., native was asked how she ended up so far from home she stated that “Castleton just felt like home. And that’s all I wanted. Castleton has turned out to provide me with much more than just an education. It gave me an additional group of people to call family.”

Once all of the degrees had been conferred, President Wolk brought the day’s largest cheer by exclaiming: “You have made a difference at Castleton. Now go out and make a difference in the world. Ladies and gentlemen… the Class of 2015.”

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