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Commencement 2019

  • Graduating seniors at the 2019 Commencement ceremony.
    Graduating seniors at the 2019 Commencement ceremony.
May 19, 2019
Delaware’s Chief Justice Leo Strine shares Washington College’s “trigger warning” to confront the faults of humanity on the way to experiencing the full breadth and depth of the human experience.

Under clear skies and a broiling sun, Leo E. Strine, Chief Justice of Delaware, spoke about the unique character of Washington College and the enduring value of the liberal arts, as he urged the graduating seniors to remain open to the full range of human experience and perspectives. His takeaway? Treat others with equal regard and equal respect, regardless of whether they may have belief systems different from your own.

Strine was presented with the honorary degree Doctor of Laws. Citations for excellence in public service were presented to two alumni: Carolyn Choate-Turnbull ’80 and Barry Glassman ’84. And students and faculty took home several major awards, outlined below the photo gallery.


Kelly Meagher Gardner, a double major political science and sociology with three minors—justice, law, and society, gender studies, and peace and conflict studies—was awarded the Louis L. Goldstein ’35 Award, given to a graduating senior who, in the opinion of the faculty, has demonstrated unusual interest, enthusiasm and potential in the field of public affairs.

The Eugene B. Casey Medal—awarded by the faculty to a woman considered outstanding in the qualities of scholarship, character, leadership and campus citizenship—went to Julia Marie Portmann. Portmann majored in biology and environmental science, and minored in chemistry and German studies. She was also a Cater Fellow and an intern at the Eastern Shore Food Lab.

Kyle Sharpless Pitts, a double major in international studies and French with a minor in business management, was awarded the Henry W.C. Catlin Medal, given to a senior man considered to be outstanding in the qualities of scholarship, character, leadership and campus citizenship.

The Clark-Porter Medal went to Rose Adelizzi, a double major in biology and environmental science with a minor in chemistry. The prize goes to the student whose character and personal integrity, in the opinion of the faculty, have most clearly enhanced the quality of campus life. 

Kelsey Nicole McNaul, a double major in environmental studies and sociology, won the highest honor, the George Washington Medal and Award. McNaul, an intern with the Eastern Shore Food Lab, was active with the Student Environmental Alliance, Garden Club, campus beekeeping, and the Permaculture Internship programs. The prize is awarded annually to the senior who shows the greatest promise of understanding and realizing in life and work the ideals of a liberal education.

The Jane Huston Goodfellow Memorial Prize was given to two women majoring in the sciences—Picabo French, a double major in biology and studio art, and Amanda Lee Gabriel, a biology major with minors in Hispanic studies and creative writing.

The Gold Pentagon Awards were presented to SGA President Victoria Cline and Michele Volansky, chair and associate professor in the Department of Theater and Dance.

The Alumni Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award was presented to Cristina Casado Presa, associate professor of Spanish, director of the Gender Studies Program, and chair of the Department of World Languages.



Last modified on May. 19th, 2019 at 5:00pm by Marcia Landskroener.