College of Wooster to hold 142nd Commencement on May 14

Close to 400 seniors expected to receive their diplomas that day

March 30, 2012 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio — An estimated 395 seniors will receive their diplomas when The College of Wooster hosts its 142nd commencement ceremony on Monday, May 14. The event, which is scheduled to be held outdoors (weather permitting) in the Oak Grove (1220 Beall Ave.), begins at 10 a.m.

Graduates will hear from two honorary degree recipients — Tom Alter and Chandra Talpade Mohanty — who will share a few words of wisdom with the class of 2012.

Alter, an actor, writer, and journalist, will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters. He was born to Presbyterian missionaries in India, and is the great grandson of John Alter, an 1873 graduate of the “University” of Wooster. Thomas attended the Film and Television Institute of India, and has performed in scores of Bollywood films and Indian soap operas as well as several Hollywood productions. His film credits include “The Chess Players” and “Gandhi,” with roles that have run the gamut, from romantic leads to clergy to military personnel. As a writer, he has authored such novels as The Longest Race and Rerun at Rialto. As a broadcaster, he has covered such events as cricket, badminton, and tennis. He received India’s prestigious Padma Sri award in recognition of his many contributions to Indian culture, particularly his one-man performance of Indian freedom fighter Maulana Azad.

Mohanty, an internationally recognized scholar on issues of postcolonial and transnational feminist theory and a professor in the department of women’s and gender studies at Syracuse University, will receive a Doctor of Humanities. A widely published author, her scholarly works include Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism, Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarities, and Feminism and War: Confronting U.S. Imperialism. Her signature essay, “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses” has been a valuable resource for many women’s, gender, and sexuality studies courses. She sits on a number of advisory boards, including peer review in the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and a variety of editorial boards, including the Research Institute of Asian Women. She also worked with the Municipal Services Project on alternatives to privatization in the Global South and spent 15 years working with Grassroots Leadership of North Carolina against privatized prisons.

The Baccalaureate service, which will be held on Sunday, May 13, at 10 a.m. in McGaw Chapel (340 E. University St.), will feature Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann, senior associate dean for religious life at Stanford University. A scholar on Jewish feminism, rabbinical ethics, and the relationship between religion and education, and social justice, Karlin-Neumann was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She teaches courses in “Spirituality and Nonviolent Social Transformation” and “Rereading Judaism in Light of Feminism.”

Other events scheduled for commencement weekend include the planting of the class tree and the senior award recognition ceremony on Saturday, as well as the president’s all-campus picnic, the Phi Beta Kappa initiation, and the annual commencement concert on Sunday evening.

Additional information about commencement is available online and by phone (330-263-2313) or e-mail.