Wilson 140th Commencement Gears Up, Features Animal Behavior Scientist Temple Grandin

Byline: Xiaomeng Li

Posted: May 6, 2010

Wilson College Commencement Weekend is in its 140th year of the tradition on Thurs, May 20 to Sun, May 23.

What to expect during Commencement

This year's Commencement Weekend will follow the usual tradition and include activities such as senior class picnic, commencement rehearsal, senior bash, senior class garden party and finally baccalaureate ceremony and commencement ceremony on Sun, May 23.

Temple Grandin featured speaker

The commencement speaker is Dr. Temple Grandin. According to Wilson's Web site, Grandin earned her Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1989 and is currently a Professor at Colorado State University. "She has done extensive work on the design of handling facilities. Half the cattle in the U.S. and Canada are handled in equipment she has designed for meat plants." Besides, Grandin is also a past member of the board of directors of the Autism Society of America. Recently, HBO made a movie based on Grandin's life story with Claire Danes starring as Grandin. According to HBO, "Temple Grandin paints a picture of a young woman's perseverance and determination while struggling with the isolating challenges of autism at a time when it was still quite unknown."

Grandin: students' choice

"Students definitely had an input about who would come," says Herring, "Grandin was one of the honorable degree candidates. The College Commencement Committee nominated several speakers, and the list went through Dean Hendrickson, President Edmundson, the College's Board of Trustees, and then seniors got to vote for who they wanted to be the speaker."

Herring says that Wilson has a great group working on Commencement Weekend. So far, "everything is going out without a hitch." She hopes the Commencement Weekend will be sunny: "It's much comfortable having the commencement outside." However, if it rains, the baccalaureate ceremony will move to Thomson Hall and the commencement to Laird Hall.


Robin Herring, Asst. to the Dean, also introduces something different. Commencement 2010 will have, "bagpiper leads the procession and recession." Besides, this year "we've gone more online," says Herring. For example, seniors will order announcement and pay meals on the commencement Web page.

"Classy" and "Dignified"

Liz Heyer '10, says that she wishes the commencement will be "classy, dignified and a memory that will last." Christina Howard '10, says that "I am looking for everything to run smoothly and for me, not to mess up my speech."

Move-out Information from Sherri Ihle, Residence Life:

All halls close at 10:00am on Sat, May 15, 2010. Any resident (including graduating senior) planning to stay through Senior Week/Commencement must RSVP to by May 7 with the dates they intend to stay and the reason they need to stay.

Please note: students planning to stay during Commencement Week must have a valid reason for staying (graduating, sister class helping with Commencement, working on campus, etc.). Those students will receive a confirmation email from Residence Life and a "Stay Sign" will be hung on their room door. If they don't receive either of these, they are not on the Commencement Week Stay List. All residents not on our Commencement Stay List must complete their checkouts by 10:00am May 15.

For those on our Commencement Stay List, Commencement Hall Closing is Monday, May 24 at 10:00am. There will be separate Commencement Week checkout sign-up sheets posted starting Sunday May 16.

All students must sign up for a checkout with an RA at least 48 hours in advance of when they plan to leave. If their RA's schedule doesn't work for them, they need to go to the other RAs. Failure to vacate residence halls by 10:00am on closing day or follow proper closing procedure (including signing up for a checkout time in advance) will result in a $50.00 fine. Student need to make sure their travel plans coincide with the closing dates. Once the student checks out of her room, she must leave the building. Keys must be turned in at the time of checkout.

Students can wait for rides at Len fest Commons. More info on closing and storage can be found online at If anyone has questions, please email

Last Updated: September 25, 2011

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