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Outdoor Commencement ceremony celebrates Wooster’s Class of 2022

DIXSON speaks at 2022 Commencement

While rain delayed the outdoor celebration, the joy and excitement of the graduates of The College of Wooster Class of 2022 stayed bright for the Commencement Ceremony held at John P. Papp Stadium, Monday, May 16, 2022. A total of 430 degrees were conferred in the 152nd Commencement Ceremony of The College of Wooster with family, friends, and the College community.

Visit wooster.edu/commencement to view an archived video of the Commencement ceremony, access the official program, and watch archived videos of the Baccalaureate and Multicultural Stoling ceremonies.

“We celebrate you, Class of ’22, because of the impact that you will make as you go out from this place into your lives. Your brilliance, dedication, and commitment to others—your knowledge and insight and perspective are going to make a difference. They already have,” said President Sarah Bolton in her opening address. “Together, you’re going to emerge from this time to lead and to care for a world that is ready, and that is hungry for the change that you will bring.”

Speakers for the class included Benton T. Thompson IV ’22 from Ellenwood, Georgia, an archaeology major and Posse scholar, and Jenna Marie Smith ’22 from Vermilion, Ohio, a sociology major. Thompson declared the Class of 2022, “the most highly intelligent, passionate, creative, caring, and charismatic leaders and scholars that I’ve ever met,” sharing his pride to be among them, adding, “I’m so proud of you all. And I’m honored that you chose me to be one of your commencement speakers. I know that you are going to continue to be unstoppable.”

“I hope you pursue every opportunity with the fullest, messiest version of yourself possible and embrace your quirks and flaws because imperfection is something that makes us more resilient and powerful—especially when we use it to connect with people in unexpected ways,” said Smith.

In his keynote address, Oscar-nominated musician and Wooster alumnus Darius Scott Dixson ’13, known as “DIXSON” professionally, addressed the Class of 2022 with humility and alumni pride. “Being [at Wooster] challenged me and made me the man I am today. For that, I am truly grateful,” he said. DIXSON shared his story as a self-designed major in arts and media management, a path that allowed him “the freedom to study multiple disciplines, engaging with students and faculty from almost every department on campus,” and share his passion for music with the Wooster community. He called on the graduates to “work together to create a world that respects the diversity represented here today.” He added, “I believe that in you live new theories that will protect our world from old ways of thinking. I am speaking to the new guard, a class of world changers and table shakers, and I couldn’t be more elated.”

Monday’s ceremony also featured an invocation led by Rev. David Rice, a member of the College Board of Trustees and pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Wooster, and a benediction led by Rev. Enikö Ferenczy, Ph.D., pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church. After the Class of 2022 was welcomed by Alumni Association President Sandeep Bhatia ’89, and their traditional recession was led by the Wooster Pipe Band, graduates, community members, and families enjoyed the opportunity to gather together to continue the celebration.

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