Whittier College Celebrates its 108th Commencement Ceremony

May 13, 2011

Seated under a brilliantly sunny sky in Whittier College's Memorial Stadium, the nearly 300 members of the class of 2011 listened attentively as award-winning journalist Bill Moyers urged them to "take one more walk around the campus" before leaving.

[Bill Moyers] "Take it all in one more time, remember why you came, who you were, what you wanted and why," he said. "One day, those memories will come back to ground you when everything that is tied down is coming lose."

Speaking about the many challenges these new graduates will face in very complicated world, Moyers assured the graduates that they chose well in coming to Whittier College.

"With a student body the color and texture of the future. With a faculty that believes in service teaching and with trustees and an administration committed to your needs for personal growth and the worlds need for social justice. This was the best choice you made early in your life.

"Trust me, when you are my age looking back at a long line of hits, runs, and errors, wins and losses, you will understand how these Whittier years forged your strength and shaped your destiny... a journey you could not predict, but for which you could prepare by learning to think for yourself and still work with others."

[Judith Davidson Moyers] Moyers shared the stage with his spouse and professional partner Judith Davidson Moyers, a television producer and long-time education advocate. In her address to the graduates, Moyers praised all Poets.

"It is a special college who cheers on its with football team, its baseball team, its soccer team, all your fine athletes with 'hit em high, hit them low, come on Poets lets go.'

"I have been cheering on poets and even making television out of poetry for years," she said.

Before delivering their joint address, Bill and Judith Moyers became honorary Poets, as they were conferred with a doctorate of humane letters (L.H.D.) by President Sharon Herzberger.

[Mary McCall Schenthal] Whittier Scholars major Mary "McCall" Schenthal from Waldport, Oregon delivered the student address.

"'It takes a village to raise a child.' Well, it takes an entire college to make a graduate,"said Schenthal reflecting on her Whittier experience. "Whether it is the wonderful women who work in the Campus Inn or the staff in the registrar's office, Whittier is so true to the values of its Quaker heritage of integrity and community; I've eaten a meal with almost all of my professors, with my deans, and with the president."

"Today the class of 2011 becomes the newest alumni. We are the next ones to take the step forward and we've earned the right to do so."

In her Charge to the Class of 2011, President Sharon Herzberger lauded the many accomplishments of the graduates sitting before her and challenged them to make the most of their Whittier education.

"So, members of the Whittier College Class of 2011, I charge you to use fully all of your talents, the wisdom and breadth of perspective you gained through the guidance of our faculty, and the values you have assimilated as part of this venerable community. Remember that you were privileged to attend this College, and remember those who started you on your way."

President Herzberger's Blog.

Media Coverage

Columbia Journalism Review
LA Weekly

Commencement Ceremony Photos

Slide Show 1 (photos by Tatiana Shabelnik)
Slide Show 2 (photos by Dana Rakoczy)
Slide Show 3 (photos by Steven Burns)
Slide Show 4 (photos by Dave Peeters)
Slide Show: Latino Graduates Celebration 

YouTube Videos

Commencement Address: Bill Moyers
Commencement Address: Judith Davidson Moyers
Student Speaker: Mary McCall Schenthal '11