Bennington College celebrated its 89th Commencement on Saturday

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Bennington College Commencement speaker Safiya Sinclair

Commencement speaker Safiya Sinclair

Vermont Business Magazine On Saturday, June 1, 2024, 122 members of Bennington College’s Class of 2024 gathered, along with their family members and friends, faculty, staff, and leadership on a green expanse of lawn at the southern end of campus to receive their degrees.

Graduates hailed from twenty-eight states and eighteen countries, including Egypt, India, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Norway, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Vietnam, and ranged in age from 19 to 53. 

The institution conferred three master’s degrees, two in dance and one in public action, and 119 bachelor’s degrees. Undergraduate students studied Cultural Studies and Languages; Dance; Drama; Environmental Studies; Literature; Music; Science & Mathematics; Society, Culture & Thought; and Visual Arts. 

The College’s Brass Quartet with Percussionists, led by music faculty members Chris Rose and Michael Wimberly with Joseph Alpar, began the event with a remix of former music faculty member Louis Calabro’s “Ceremonial March.” President Laura Walker led the procession, followed by Nicholas Stephens ’77, the chair of the Board of Trustees.  

After acknowledging the families of graduates and Bennington College’s staff, the 2024 Faculty Speaker Dana Reitz provided her insights to the graduates.  

“We are gathered here now to create a marker for time passing, not knowing what the future will bring, yet determined to experience something together,” she said. 

The class of 2024 Commencement Speaker was poet and memoirist Safiya Sinclair ’10. She shared her personal experiences at Bennington, along with how what she learned then has brought her to today. 

She said, “I would like to impart to you, on this gossamer-fine morning in New England, that the best way to navigate a major ending such as this one and to cultivate the new beginning ahead of you is to nourish and chase the same belief in possibility that exists in the process of making art.” 

Both Friday's Eve of Commencement speeches and Saturday’s Conferring of Degrees ceremony are available to watch on the College’s Commencement webpage.

Bennington graduates have exciting plans for the future. They will pursue graduate study and other programs at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the Rhode Island School of Design; Rutgers in New Jersey; University of Southern California; University of Wisconsin, Madison; Victoria Conservatory of Music in British Columbia; and Widener University, to name a few. 

Students will be employed as fellows at the Consortium on Forced Migration Displacement and Education Summer Program in Bern, Switzerland; The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; work as a business analyst at Amazon in Miami; and at the Williams College Museum of Art. Others will run for public office, including as a member of the House of Representatives for the Bennington-2 legislative district. 

To read about graduates’ accomplishments at Bennington, visit bennington.edu

Bennington College’s Class of 2024

About Bennington College

Bennington College is a liberal arts college in southwestern Vermont that has distinguished itself as a vanguard institution within American higher education. It was the first to include the visual and performing arts in a liberal arts education. It is the only college to require that its students spend a term—every year—at work in the world. Bennington students work intensively with faculty to forge individual educational paths around their driving questions and interests.

Source: Bennington, VT: Saturday, June 1, 2024, Bennington College

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