May 19, 2005
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Amherst College will celebrate its 184th commencement exercises this weekend, Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22. The college will grant bachelor of arts degrees to 409 members of the Class of 2005 at Commencement exercises at 10 a.m. on Sunday in the Main Quadrangle. (Exercises will be held in LeFrak Gymnasium in the event of rain.) Amherst President Anthony W. Marx will give an address, and John D. Pourciau, of Baton Rouge, La., has been chosen by his classmates to speak.

Honorary degrees will also be awarded at the ceremony Sunday to Kazuo Asakai '67, the Japanese ambassador to the European Union; Shigeru Ban, an architect known for his use of non-traditional building materials; Natalie Zemon Davis, ground-breaking historian and author of The Return of Martin Guerre; Paul E. Farmer, physician, medical anthropologist and founder of Partners in Health; Senator John Glenn, former American fighter pilot, astronaut and politician; Amy Rosenzweig '88, biochemist and winner of a MacArthur "genius" grant; Robert Stone, novelist and former visiting writer at Amherst; and William Julius Wilson, sociologist of urban poverty.

The college will honor Stephen R. Pflaum '62 of Minneapolis, Minn., with the Medal for Eminent Service. The honorary marshal will be F. David Lake, Jr. '64.

At 1:30 p.m., on Saturday, Paul Farmer will address the Senior Class Exercises. At 3 p.m., Shigeru Ban will speak on "Works and Humanitarian Activities" in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115), Natalie Zemon Davis will speak on "A Historian's Adventures" in the Cole Assembly Room, Converse 108), and John Glenn will take part in a conversation in Johnson Chapel. At 4 p.m., Amy Rosenzweig will give a talk titled "Here's to You, Larry Summers" in the Cole Assembly Room (Converse 108), Robert Stone will discuss "Unteachable, Unknowable, Echoes of Beckett" in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115), and William Julius Wilson will offer "Reflections on the Plight of Former Welfare Recipients" in Johnson Chapel.

The Class of 2005 has asked graduating seniors Ali Hassan of Falls Church, Va., Gabriel Mattera of University Heights, Ohio and Kate Stayman-London of Montclair, N.J. to offer remarks at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Senior Class Exercises.

The college also will award prizes at Senior Class Exercises on Saturday, and present Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore Awards to secondary school teachers Robert Arrigo, a mathematics teacher from Scarsdale (N.Y.) High School, nominated by Armit Amirapu '05; William Curtis, a Latin teacher at Camden Hills Regional High School (Rockport, Maine), nominated by Rebecca Stein '05; John and Carol Longhenry, teachers of English and history from Auburn High School (Rockford, Ill.), nominated by Max Rettig '05; and John Stephens '56, a history teacher at the University School of Milwaukee (River Hills, Wisc.), nominated by Jennifer Wertheimer '05.