Published May 04, 2016

Monmouth’s 159th Commencement

Historian Jon Meacham to deliver address to 250 graduates on May 15
  • Journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Jon Meacham (photo by Gasper Tringale)
Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Jon Meacham will address about 250 graduates at Monmouth College’s 159th Commencement, to be held at noon May 15 on the Wallace Hall Plaza.

In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the Huff Athletic Center.

Commencement exercises will conclude a weekend of activities that includes a baccalaureate service, the Honor Walk, Senior Gala and a concert.

The May 15 commencement ceremony will also feature performances by the Monmouth College Wind Ensemble, Pipe Band and Chorale. Student speakers will include Drake Decker of Muscatine, Iowa, who is the College’s Student Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, and Anthony Howe of Somerset, Wis., president of the senior class.   The College’s baccalaureate service – which will be held at 2 p.m. May 14 in Dahl Chapel – will feature a message, titled “Let Me See,” delivered by the Rev. Dr. Teri Ott, Monmouth’s chaplain.

Also at baccalaureate, the Chorale will perform the premier of a song commissioned for the service, written by music faculty member Daniel Godsil, with lyrics by English faculty member David Wright.

At 3:30 p.m. May 14, members of the Class of 2016 will have the opportunity to participate in the Honor Walk on Wallace Hall Plaza. Seniors will present a specially minted commemorative coin to honor a family member, faculty or staff member, or friend who has provided inspiration, motivation and support during their Monmouth College career.

Graduates and their family members will attend the Senior Gala, which will be held 5:30 p.m. May 14 in Glennie Gymnasium.

The Senior Gala dinner will open with an invocation by Victoria Salyards of Mundelein, Ill. After a welcome from Josh Washington of Kankakee, Ill., Amber Berge of Port Byron, Ill., will present the senior reflection. Katie Houston of Knoxville, Ill., will present President Clarence R. Wyatt with the class gift. Members of the senior class will be presented with pins by the Alumni Association, welcoming them into the organization.

The Senior Gala will be followed by an 8 p.m. commencement concert in Dahl Chapel, featuring the Chorale and the Wind Ensemble.

Meacham’s latest presidential biography, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, debuted last year at No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list. Meacham’s other national bestsellers include American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009; Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power; Franklin and Winston; and American Gospel.

Meacham currently serves as executive vice president and executive editor at the Random House Publishing Group, and is also a contributing editor for Time. He was Newsweek managing editor from 1998-2006, and editor-in-chief from 2006-10. Meacham is a frequent commentator on television programs, including Meet the Press and Morning Joe, and he appeared in the Ken Burns documentary The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. Fox News produced an hour-long special about Destiny and Power last year.

Named a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum, Meacham is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow of the Society of American Historians, and chairs the National Advisory Board of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University.
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