Washington College Commencement Speaker Announced


Sen. Ben Cardin will provide the keynote address of Washington College’s 240th Commencement this May 21, congratulating the Class of 2023 and wishing them success in their future endeavors.  

portrait of Sen. Ben Cardin with the American and Maryland flags behind him

In announcing the senator as commencement speaker, Washington President Mike Sosulski also shared that the College will confer an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws on Cardin for his “selfless and exceptional service as a United States Senator from Maryland and his advocacy of environmental protection, higher education, retirement security, and human rights."  

“It will be an honor for Washington College to recognize Sen. Cardin for his public service and accomplishments on behalf of this state and nation,” Sosulski said. 

A third-generation Marylander, Cardin currently serves as chair of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and is a senior member of the Senate Finance, Foreign Relations, and Environment and Public Works committees. Cardin has played an instrumental role influencing U.S. foreign policy and elevating human rights into diplomatic negotiations. He is also a strident defender of the Chesapeake Bay and has taken the lead on reviving the Equal Rights Amendment. 

“I am proud of my public service on behalf of Marylanders and thankful to be recognized by Washington College with an honorary degree,” said Sen. Cardin. “Education is one of the great equalizers in our society and Washington College is at the forefront of preparing leaders and educating citizens for the challenges that lie ahead.”

Held on the Campus Lawn starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 21, Washington College’s Commencement ceremony will conclude a weekend of activities celebrating the Class of 2023.  

On Friday night at 7:30, one graduating senior will be awarded the Sophie Kerr Prize, the largest undergraduate literary prize in the country. The prize is named after an Eastern Shore author who made her fortune in New York writing women’s fiction during the 1930s and 1940s. In addition to funding the prize, the endowment she established in her will brings visiting scholars and writers to the Washington College campus, provides scholarships for students who show literary promise and grants in support of student internships in a range of literary, editing, and publishing fields. 

Graduation celebrations on Saturday feature a senior picnic at noon at the Hodson Boathouse on the College’s waterfront campus, the Alumni Toast to the Class of 2023 on the Miller Library Terrace on the Main Campus from 4 to 6 pm, and finally a Commencement Dinner and family party in Hodson Hall. 

Find a complete schedule of Commencement activities and details at www.washcoll.edu/commencement.