Renowned Painter, Pioneering Journalist to Speak at Commencement Events

For more information on Commencement, visit

Kalamazoo College is pleased and honored to welcome both a world-renowned painter and a pioneering journalist—both alumnae of the College—as its keynote speakers when it celebrates the commencements of the Class of 2021 and the Class of 2020 at Angell Field.

Commencement speaker Julie Mehretu
Julie Mehretu ’92, a world-renowned painter, will be the Commencement speaker for Kalamazoo College’s Class of 2021 on Sunday, June 13.

Julie Mehretu ’92

Julie Mehretu ’92, one of the country’s most celebrated contemporary artists, will deliver the 2021 Commencement address at 10 a.m. on June 13.

Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Mehretu lives and works in New York City and Berlin. Mehretu creates large-scale abstract paintings, drawings, and prints that draw from the histories of art and human civilization, exploring themes such as capitalism, globalism, migration and climate change. Her work has been exhibited extensively in museums and biennials including the Carnegie International (2004–05); Sydney Biennial (2006); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010); dOCUMENTA (13) (2012); Sharjah Biennial (2015); Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2017); Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge, UK (2019); and the 58th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, (2019).

Among the largest and best known of her commissioned works are Mural, a 23-by-80-foot painting that Mehretu created for the lobby of Goldman Sachs in 2010, and the HOWL, eon (I, II) series at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which stand at 23-by-32 feet each and flank the main staircase of the museum’s atrium.

Mehretu has been honored with numerous awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2005 and the U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts in 2015. In 2020, TIME named Mehretu to its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and is represented by Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris. A mid-career survey of Mehretu’s work is currently on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art through August 8.

Mehretu received a B.A. from Kalamazoo College, studied abroad at the University Cheik Anta Diop, Dakar Senegal, and received a Master’s of Fine Art with honors from The Rhode Island School of Design in 1997. She will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at the Commencement ceremony.

Commencement Speaker Charlotte Hall
Charlotte Hall ’66, a member of Kalamazoo College’s Board of Trustees and a retired pioneering journalist, will be the Commencement speaker Saturday, June 12, for the Class of 2020.

Charlotte Hall ’66

Trailblazing journalist Charlotte Hall ’66 will give the commencement address to the Class of 2020 in a celebration honoring last year’s graduates. This in-person event at 10 a.m. June 12 will recognize alumni whose degrees were conferred in a virtual ceremony last year.

Hall is the retired editor and senior vice president of the Orlando Sentinel, where she oversaw the newsroom’s transformation into a digital news provider. Before joining the Sentinel, Hall spent 22 years at Newsday on Long Island, rising through the ranks to managing editor and vice president. Under her direction, Newsday reporters won numerous honors, including the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. Hall served as a Pulitzer juror three times. For her efforts to increase newsroom diversity at Newsday, Hall received the Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership in 2003 from the American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Managing Editors.

Hall served as president of the American Society of News Editors and later as the president of the Society’s foundation. She also served on the Accrediting Committee of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).

Since her retirement in 2010, Hall has been active in journalism organizations and in higher education. In 2011, she was the Reynolds Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at Washington and Lee University. She currently serves on the Temple University Journalism Board of Advisors.  She also has been active in nonprofit journalism.

Hall has served on the Board of Trustees of Kalamazoo College for 22 years and led the Board as its first female chair from 2013-2019. She participated in two presidential searches, chairing the search committee that nominated President Jorge G. Gonzalez.

She received her B.A. from Kalamazoo College and her M.A. from the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago. Hall will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at the Commencement ceremony.

For more information on Commencement, visit

Conferral of Degrees Speaker: Prioritize Equity, Solidarity

Conferral of Degrees Speaker Rosella LoChirco
Rosella LoChirco will address Kalamazoo College’s class of 2020 in a Conferral of Degrees ceremony at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 14. Watch at

Watch the Conferral of Degrees ceremony

Watch the 2020 Baccalaureate ceremony

On a day that Kalamazoo College would normally welcome thousands of people to campus, the Quad will be quiet and still, as K’s in-person Commencement has been postponed in 2020. Yet that won’t stop the institution from honoring the achievements of its graduating class, or this class from celebrating and receiving a message of hope.

At 1 p.m. June 14, Provost Danette Ifert Johnson will read the names of the graduates, and Rosella LoChirco ’20, draped in a cap and gown, will address her peers as the class speaker in a virtual Conferral of Degrees ceremony at

LoChirco, a philosophy major from Rochester, Michigan, will tell graduates to prioritize social equity and solidarity as they move on to their next chapters.

“I want to encourage my class to double down on our commitments to each other and to our communities because that says more about our true identities than any job title can,” LoChirco said.

After all, as soon-to-be Kalamazoo College grads, they’ve spent the past four years building their identities on those ideals, and the challenges they’ve encountered this term make celebrating their accomplishments even more important.

“We all envisioned graduation to be one thing,” LoChirco said. “We find ourselves in multiple crises right now, and there is so much pain related not just to COVID-19 but to racial discrimination in our country. I want to use this opportunity to reflect on recent events and create space for the mix of celebration, sadness and frustration that many of my classmates and I are feeling.”

LoChirco will begin life as a K alumna with a fellowship from Venture for America, a prestigious honor that prepares recent college graduates for careers as entrepreneurs while they’re placed in ambitious start-up businesses across the U.S. She said she’s in the matching phase of that fellowship program and is excited despite her yet-unknown placement as the College has prepared her to embrace uncertainty.

“With the relationships I had with professors and the confidence I gained in the classroom and study abroad, I’m ready to take on new challenges because I’ve done it before,” she said. “And I’ve found people along the way who really supported me.”

K’s class of 2020 includes:

  • 331 expected Commencement participants;
  • 207 Michiganders;
  • students from 23 states;
  • students from 10 countries including the U.S.;
  • biology, business and chemistry as the most represented majors; and
  • 104 double majors and five triple majors.

“Our world is going through concurrent crises and to still have a moment where we can celebrate our achievement and be together virtually is really special to me,” LoChirco said.

Kalamazoo College Postpones 2020 Commencement

Commencement 1
While the in-person Commencement will be postponed, the College will hold a virtual Conferral of Degrees ceremony on June 14.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic and recommendations from public health organizations, Kalamazoo College has announced it is postponing its in-person Commencement 2020 ceremony until a later date.

In a message to the senior class, President Jorge G. Gonzalez said, “This has been a tremendously difficult decision for us to make; however, public health experts continue to advise against large group gatherings as we head into summer. While the tradition of Commencement is sacred and dear, your safety and the safety of your families must come first. Nevertheless, I want to reassure you that we will have a Commencement ceremony for the class of 2020 on campus once it is safe to do so.”

While in-person events will be postponed, the College will hold a virtual Conferral of Degrees ceremony on June 14. Members of K’s Class of 2020 and their friends and families are invited to gather together online as College leadership recognizes each student and confers their Kalamazoo College degrees.

More information about Commencement can be found at as details become available. More information on K’s response to COVID-19 can be found at the link listed on the Kalamazoo College homepage.

Class of 2018 Celebrates Commencement June 17

Kalamazoo College’s 2018 Commencement will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 17, on the campus Quad. A total of 318 members of the class of 2018 are expected to participate in the ceremony with biology, business, psychology and chemistry representing the most popular majors.

Class of 2018 Commencement 2
Kalamazoo College will conduct its Commencement ceremony June 17. A total of 318 members of the class of 2018 are expected to participate.

Kalamazoo College President Jorge G. Gonzalez will welcome graduates along with about 2,000 family members and friends, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and community members. A livestream of the ceremony will be available.

This year’s class includes:

  • 197 Michiganders;
  • students from 26 states including Illinois, California, Washington, Florida and Massachusetts;
  • students from 14 countries including China, Vietnam and India; and
  • 93 double majors and three triple majors.

Rain Location

If inclement weather forces the ceremony indoors, it will take place at Anderson Athletic Center, where tickets will be required for entry. Each senior will receive five tickets that will be distributed at the mandatory senior rehearsal at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 14. No extra tickets will be issued. If events are forced indoors, graduating students will receive an email around 9 a.m. Sunday with that information. Such an announcement would also be made at K’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Commencement Parking

All faculty, staff and student parking lots will be available to families and guests. Click the link with the title of each lot below to see its location on our interactive map.

Vehicles must be parked in marked stalls. Permits are only required for handicapped spaces. If you choose to park in a surrounding neighborhood, please note all posted regulations, which are maintained by the City of Kalamazoo.

Handicapped Guests and Parking

Limited handicapped parking spaces are clearly marked and available throughout campus, both on streets near campus buildings and in campus lots. Handicapped spaces are reserved for vehicles with a state permit.

Due to limited handicapped parking, a designated drop-off area will be available on Campus Drive in front of Hoben Hall, accessible from Academy Street. Families may drop off guests for barrier-free access to the Quad before finding parking elsewhere on campus.

A designated seating area will be available for guests in wheelchairs on the northeast side of the Hicks Center. Families with guests in wheelchairs who would like to reserve seating in this area should contact Kerri Barker at 269.337.7289 or Guests in wheelchairs who wish to sit with their entire party elsewhere on the Quad may do so.

Barrier-free restrooms are available at Olds Upton Hall at the south side of the building, near the main entrance at the Hicks Center, and in Stetson Chapel at the south side of the building.

Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker for the class of 2018 Deborah Bial
Deborah Bial, the Posse Foundation’s president and founder, will address the class of 2018.

K will celebrate its relationship with the acclaimed Posse Foundation when it welcomes the organization’s president and founder, Deborah Bial, as its commencement keynote speaker.

Posse gives talented, high-achieving students from urban public schools the opportunity to attend top colleges and universities on tuition scholarships while ensuring they have a support group to help them navigate the cultural challenges of a new landscape.

Kalamazoo College has partnered with the Posse Foundation since 2008. K’s sixth cohort of Los Angeles Posse students will graduate this year. Its 10th cohort will arrive on campus as first-year students this fall.

Bial earned her B.A. at Brandeis University and her M.A. and Ed.D. at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. She received a MacArthur Fellowship award in 2007.

Class of 2018 Student Speaker

Elyse Tuennerman, a sociology and anthropology major with a public policy and urban affairs concentration, is the student speaker.

Elyse Tuennerman Class of 2018
Elyse Tuennerman will serve as the class of 2018 student speaker.

Tuennerman, of Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania, is a Senior Leadership Recognition Award recipient, the co-editor-in-chief of the student newspaper The Index, the office coordinator for the Student Funding Board and an Admission tour guide. She served as a President’s Student Ambassador for her sophomore through senior years, giving the student keynote address at the 2017 President’s Community Breakfast last fall.

Tuennerman became a class agent during her senior year and will continue to serve in that leadership role as an alumna, keeping her classmates connected with the College.


Baccalaureate, a non-denominational service with student and faculty speakers and musical performances, will be at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at Stetson Chapel. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. A sound system will be set up outside of the chapel for overflow. Some guests choose to bring a blanket and relax on the lawn of the chapel.

Posse Founder to Speak at 2018 Commencement

Kalamazoo College will celebrate its relationship with the acclaimed Posse Foundation when it welcomes the organization’s president and founder, Deborah Bial, as its 2018 Commencement speaker June 17.

2018 Commencement Speaker Deborah Bial
Posse Foundation President and Founder Deborah Bial will be the 2018 Commencement speaker at Kalamazoo College.

Since 2009, Posse has sent 10 students — a “Posse” — a year to K from Los Angeles. Each Posse add its varied experiences in the nation’s second-largest metro area to the College’s mix while its members provide one another with the support of peers from back home.

That’s the idea behind Posse: to give talented, high-achieving students from urban public schools the opportunity to attend top colleges and universities on full scholarship while ensuring they have a support group to help them navigate the cultural challenges of a new landscape. The College will admit its 10th Posse cohort in fall 2018.

Bial has said she launched the foundation in 1989 after hearing a former scholarship student from the Bronx who had left an Ivy League college say he might never have dropped out “if I’d had my posse with me.”

Since then, Posse has sent more than 8,400 students to its 56 partner schools. Kalamazoo College was Posse’s first partner in Michigan, beginning with a five-year commitment made possible by a donation from Jon Stryker ’82, a member of the College’s Board of Trustees and founder and president of the Arcus Foundation.

Posse candidates undergo rigorous screening, then participate in an eight-month training program that develops their skills as individuals and as members of a team. Evidence of the success of Posse is the 90 percent-plus persistence and graduation rate for scholarship recipients.

Bial earned her B.A. at Brandeis University and her M.A. and Ed.D. at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. In 2007, she received a MacArthur Fellowship, an award that recognizes exceptional creativity and potential, accompanied by a $500,000 grant.

In an interview with WNET-TV, Bial said Posse’s overarching goal is to ensure that the United States benefits from the talents and knowledge of all of its people.

“The future of our democracy and global competitiveness will depend on our ability to develop leaders who reflect the country’s rich demographic mix,” she said. “Improving access to top universities for underrepresented students is critical to achieving this.​”

President Jorge G. Gonzalez said he is eager to hear Bial’s message to the class of 2018.

“The visionary efforts of Deborah Bial have brought to Kalamazoo College, and colleges and universities across the nation, a rich yet underrepresented vein of talent,” he said. “She has inspired us all by demonstrating the incredible potential in America’s urban public school districts, and we are deeply honored to have her as our commencement speaker.”

The 2018 Commencement at Kalamazoo College is scheduled for 1 p.m. June 17 on the college quad. The 318 members of the class of 2018 represent 29 states and 12 countries.

2017 Commencement Scheduled for Sunday

Kalamazoo College’s 2017 Commencement will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 11, on the campus Quad. A total of 418 members of the class of 2017 will receive Bachelor of Arts degrees. A livestream will be available.

Kalamazoo College 2017 Commencement Speaker Kevin Lobo - Stryker Chairman and CEO
Stryker Corporation Chairman and CEO Kevin Lobo will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree and serve as the 2017 Commencement keynote speaker.

Kalamazoo College President Jorge G. Gonzalez will welcome graduates – along with about 2,500 family members and friends, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and community members – in what will be his first commencement as president. This year’s class includes:

  • 263 Michiganders;
  • students from 33 states and 14 countries; and
  • 116 double majors and three triple majors.

The College departments graduating the most students are biology, business, chemistry and psychology.

Stryker Corporation Chairman and CEO Kevin Lobo, the 2017 Commencement keynote speaker, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Lobo joined Stryker in April 2011 and was named its chief executive officer Oct. 1, 2012. He was appointed chairman of the board July 22, 2014, and serves on the Board of Directors for Parker Hannifin Corp., a global leader in motion and control technologies.  He is also a board member of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), the Business Leaders for Michigan and United Way for Kalamazoo/Battle Creek regions, and is a member of the Business Roundtable.

Lobo has a broad business career that includes executive positions in general management and finance with organizations such as KPMG, Unilever and Kraft Canada. He spent eight years with Rhone-Poulenc, with roles based in Europe as worldwide corporate controller of the chemical spin-out Rhodia and general manager of Specialty Phosphates EMEA.  He then spent eight years at Johnson & Johnson, where he was the chief financial officer of McNeil Consumer Healthcare and Ortho Women’s Health & Urology, the president of J&J Medical Products Canada and president of Ethicon Endo Surgery.

Kalamazoo College 2017 Commencement Student Speaker
Kalamazoo College 2017 Student Commencement speaker Mireya Guzmán-Ortíz.

Graduating senior Mireya Guzmán-Ortíz, of Salem, Ore., will receive a B.A. degree in critical ethnic studies and serve as the student speaker. While at Kalamazoo College, Guzmán-Ortíz served as an Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership student fellow and served other students in the College’s Writing Center.

Graduating seniors Melissa Erikson, Alyse Guenther and Chido Chigwedere will speak at Baccalaureate at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 10, at Stetson Chapel. The Baccalaureate is a nondenominational service with student and faculty speakers and musical performances.


Soil and Light

Rich Frishman designed this faceplate for his son, Gabe Frishman

Every graduating senior contains a multitude of stories. Commencement celebrates them. And Commencement day adds more. Like this one from proud father Rich Frishman (a Seattle-area based photographer), who cultivated a special gift for his son Gabe Frishman (class of 2016) and Gabe’s friends and academic advisor. The photo is the face plate of a card designed by Rich, and the story behind it we share below in Rich’s own words.

“From our first visit, when Gabe was selecting which college would best challenge him, we have been struck by the beauty of K’s compact quad, rolling idyllically down from Stetson, and all the energy it contained. As the heart of the campus, it seems to symbolize the nurturing environment of Kalamazoo College. The towering white oaks and lush grass transform a simple rectangle bounded by concrete and brick into a welcoming meeting place full of life. The trees became symbols, living embodiments of this special place and process; of growth and strength and transformation.

Watching my son Gabe and his friends joyfully embracing each other on the quad, then hurling themselves with complete abandon into the pillow-like piles of gathered autumn leaves, inspired this botanical experiment. Gabe, my wife Brenda and I began collecting acorns on the lower end of the quad (between Hoben, Hicks and Upton) on October 26, 2012, our inaugural Family Weekend. The acorns were most abundant that year. We eagerly gathered a couple dozen freshly fallen seeds, thinking that it would be sweet to have living tokens of Gabe’s new home at our old home. It was when planting them back on Whidbey Island that I thought they’d be a great gift to give to Gabe’s friends and classmates upon graduation. My sentimental notion was evolving.

Had I been successful that first year, I would have needed a moving truck to bring the seedlings back to Kalamazoo in 2016, but Mother Nature was wise. None of those acorns seemed to germinate. Perhaps they’d been eaten by our own squirrels, or the seeds suffocated in transit, or they needed a harder freeze to activate.

By the time of our second Family Weekend I had spent endless hours studying the horticultural requirements for successful white oak acorn germination. My hypothesis was that the weather in the Maritime Northwest was too temperate for seeds that thrived in Midwest winters. So I tried refrigerating our next harvest of Kzoo quad acorns, storing them just above freezing for two months, then planting them in the early spring.
Mother Nature got a good laugh out of that experiment. Out of another dozen acorns, none seemed to survive. Apparently that theory was not ready for publication.

With Gabe in Budapest for study abroad in 2014, we had no Kzoo acorns to plant.

Our final Family Weekend, around Halloween 2015, yielded a moderate number of healthy acorns, all gathered from the same eastern end of the quad. The squirrels seemed more corpulent and the available seed stock harder to find, but we all searched. When I got these back to Whidbey, I took a minimalist approach, planting each acorn in a one-gallon pot. Thinking perhaps my first year’s failure might have been attributable to predation, I built cages to keep them safe from squirrels, chipmunks, deer and rabbits.

Eureka! Despite our very mild winter, shoots began to break the soil in March. By the time we were finalizing our Kalamazoo Commencement plans, we had nearly a score of foot-tall white oak seedlings. I decided I would drive a dozen of them from Seattle to Kalamazoo so we could give them to Gabe’s friends as living tokens of their four years at K.

Men plan and God laughs, they say. And men plant and chipmunks grin. Nature did get one more giggle before I reached Kalamazoo. When Brenda and I stopped in Chicago, I placed our dozen seedlings in a sunny spot protected from the deer that roamed the neighborhood. Some wily chipmunks smelled a feast and eviscerated half the crop from their pots, so we were left with just six to give as gifts. Gabe carefully distributed those few to his brilliant advisor, Professor John Dugas, and five other friends.

Our garden still has six authentic Kalamazoo Quad white oak seedlings, now in two-gallon pots, awaiting final placement. One I know will grow by our house, a reminder of a time and place we hold dear. One will follow Gabe wherever he lands, a symbol of where he was launched.

The choice of tree was completely dictated by heritage. If Kalamazoo’s quad was dotted with Mountain Ash, I would have planted whatever Mountain Ash seeds I could gather. The seeds had to come from the quad because they serve as a totem of the school and the educational quest. Acorns gathered elsewhere would not suffice.

The graduation card was a last-minute creative exercise. I wanted to offer a context and explanation for why Gabe’s gift was significant. I consider the Kalamazoo experience a gift that empowers its students to grow from humble soil into the light.

Gabe is passionate about learning. His hobbies have long been thinking, reading, and questioning…along with cycling, camping and rockhounding.

When it came to selecting a school, he sought a small liberal arts college where he would be challenged academically and supported emotionally, where he could build relationships with faculty and friends. His interests in international affairs, politics, philosophy and the environment were part of what lead him to select Kalamazoo College.

Gabe’s plans for his future are still evolving. He’s considering taking some time to work in his field of study, political science, possibly through a non-profit or NGO or outreach program like the Peace Corps. Gabe anticipates eventually returning to school to get a Ph.D. or J.D., but first he wants to better understand precisely where he wants to focus his energies.”


Kalamazoo College Commencement is June 12 at 1 p.m.

Grace and Pan

Catch COMMENCEMENT (and Baccalaureate, too) via live stream. (Baccalaureate occurs Saturday, June 11, at 8 p.m.)

Kalamazoo College’s 2016 Commencement takes place Sunday June 12 at 1:00 p.m. on the campus Quad. Speakers include international human rights lawyer, activist and scholar Gay McDougall, Award-winning author Bonnie Jo Campbell, and graduating K senior Mindze Mbala-Nkanga.

Approximately 300 members of the K class of 2016 will receive Bachelor of Arts degrees.

K President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran will welcome the graduates – along with approximately 2,500 family members and friends, K faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and community members – in what will be her final commencement as K president. She retires from her post on June 30 after 11 years.

ichard Koenig 74Gay McDougall will be the 2016 commencement keynote speaker. She is Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School, Fordham University, New York City. Her long and noteworthy career has been dedicated to fighting racial oppression both in the United States and abroad. She is former United Nations Independent Expert on Minority Issues, former Executive Director of Global Rights at Partners for Justice, and former Director of the Southern Africa Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Gay McDougall

In 1999, McDougall was a recipient of the coveted MacArthur “Genius” Award. She has also received the Butcher Medal of the American Society of International Law for outstanding contributions to human rights law and the Thurgood Marshall Award of the District of Columbia Bar Association among numerous other national and international awards.

McDougall received a J.D. degree from Yale Law School and an LL.M. degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has Honorary Doctors of Law degrees from Georgetown University Law Center, the School of Law of the City University of New York, and Agnes Scott College.

McDougall will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from K during commencement.

Bonnie Jo Campbell
Bonnie Jo Campbell

Bonnie Jo Campbell will also speak at commencement. Campbell is the author of Once Upon a River, Women and Other Animals, Q Road, the just-released Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, and the National Book Award nominated American Salvage. In 2012, Once Upon a River was the Summer Common Reading book for the incoming class of 2016. Campbell spent two days on campus meeting with class members as part of their new student orientation program. Per K tradition, she returns to address this same class of students at their commencement.

Campbell is a Michigan native and resident of Kalamazoo who has served as a visiting professor of English at K. She received her B.A. degree from University of Chicago and both a M.A. degree in mathematics and M.F.A. degree in writing from Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo.

During Commencement, Bonnie Jo Campbell will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from K.

2015-2016 President’’s Student Ambassadors, Kalamazoo College, Erin Butler ’18; Francisco “Franky” Cabrera ’16; Bianca Delgado ’17; Alexis Fiebernitz ’16; George Fishback ’17; Immanuel “Manny” Greene ’16; Madeline “Maddie” Hume ’16; Elyse Kaplan ’18; Mindze Mbala-Nkanga ’16; Nirmita “Mira” Palakodaty ’18; Brian Raetz ’16
Mindze Mbala-Nkanga ’16

Graduating K senior Mindze Mbala-Nkanga will be this year’s student graduation day speaker. Mbala-Nkanga is from Ypsilanti, Mich., and will receive a B.A. degree in biology. Her Senior Independent Project (a K graduation requirement) was “Mother Anopheles: Of Malaria and Other Infections,” a play in two acts, for which she received honors. During her four years at K she completed an internship at Monroe Carell Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University and second at a hospital in Libreville, Gabon. She also served as president of the student organization Kalama-Africa, member of the Student of Color Coalition, and President’s Student Ambassador.

Graduating K seniors Sarah Wallace, Dylan Polcyn and Kaeli Peach will speak at Baccalaureate on Saturday June 11, at 8:00 p.m., in Stetson Chapel. K Baccalaureate is a nondenominational service with student and faculty speakers and musical performances.

Commencement Start Time Delay


Due to weather considerations, the start of Kalamazoo College’s 2015 commencement ceremony has been postponed to 2:15 p.m. The location remains THE QUAD.

Seniors should report to Stetson Chapel at 1:30 p.m. for set-up and processional line-up. The ceremony will begin at 2:15 p.m.

Seniors, please let your parents know about the change of time. Please tweet and re-tweet that information about the change of time can be found at

Kalamazoo College grad Raven Fisher hopes to change children’s futures, one math problem at a time

Kalamazoo College graduate Raven Fisher at Dewing Hall
Raven Fisher ’14

Raven Fisher ’14 has now begun her studies at Western Michigan University as a prestigious W.K. Kellogg Foundation Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellow. The Detroit native and University Liggett High School graduate was a math major at K. Her goal is to teach middle school math. Raven excelled in many areas at K both in and out of the classroom. She was very active in the Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Center for Civic Engagement. In both her sophomore and senior years, Raven, and her classmate Roxann Lawrence ’14 served as Civic Engagement Scholars who co-led the Community Advocates for Parents and Students at Interfaith Homes, a tutoring program that hopes to ensure that all students, no matter their economic circumstances, can take advantage of the Kalamazoo Promise, which offers free college tuition to any Kalamazoo Public Schools graduate.