Allegheny College today honored more than 380 graduates and presented honorary degrees to three distinguished alumni at Commencement ceremonies in the David V. Wise Sport & Fitness Center.
Honorary doctorates of humane letters were conferred on Allegheny alumni John Aldrich, Barbara Hotham Iglewski and Carol Reardon.
Aldrich, Allegheny class of 1969, is the Pfizer-Pratt University Professor of Political Science at Duke University and has authored numerous books and articles about the American political process.
In remarks during the ceremony, Aldrich encouraged graduates to confront pressing problems facing society. “These problems require people who know how to ask the right questions, how to answer them, and how to put that new knowledge into service to society, and that is your challenge from this day forward,” he said.
Aldrich has served as president of the American Political Science Association, as co-editor of the American Journal of Political Science, and as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio, Italy. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Barbara Hotham Iglewski, Allegheny class of 1960, is professor emerita of microbiology and immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She was the first woman to chair a department at the school and also was its director of international programs. In addition, she served as vice provost for research and graduate education at the University of Rochester.
“As you go forward in life, you’ll reflect back on Allegheny many times and say, ‘If it hadn’t been for that professor, if it hadn’t been for that course, if it hadn’t been for the friends I made, the friends I still have, I wouldn’t be where I am now, I wouldn’t be able to do the things I can do now.’ I feel that way,” Iglewski said in remarks during the ceremony.
In 2015, Iglewski was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She was recognized for her work in microbiology, especially for a landmark discovery: that Pseudomonas, a type of infection, spreads by individual bacteria communicating with one another. Her work has had a global impact on research on cystic fibrosis. Iglewski has published more than 150 research papers and book chapters and served as an editor of a number of books including the “Encyclopedia of Microbiology.”
Carol Reardon, Allegheny class of 1974, is the George Winfree Professor Emerita of American History at the Pennsylvania State University. She specializes in military history with especially strong interests in the Civil War and Vietnam eras.
In remarks during the ceremony, Reardon shared three characteristics of leadership that she learned from her mentor, Allegheny Professor Emeritus of History Jay Luvaas: competence, courage and character. “You will have to dig deep, you will have to cultivate your inner leader…,” Reardon told graduates. “Every one of you has that capability. Every one of you will have that opportunity.”
Reardon has been a scholar-in-residence at the George and Anne Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State, a visiting professor of military history at the United States Military Academy, and served twice as the General Harold K. Johnson Professor at the U.S Army War College at Carlisle Barracks. She also served on the Department of the Army Historical Advisory Committee and, for nearly 14 years, on the Board of Visitors of Marine Corps University at Quantico. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Gettysburg Foundation.
Allegheny President James H. Mullen, Jr. called on graduates to achieve at the highest level as professionals and as citizens, to employ the full measure of their promise and potential, to live lives of courage and conviction, to see and appreciate beauty even when others may not, to find joy and laughter in the challenge of their days and to never forget what it means to be a friend.
“I charge you to love this place that has been your home for the last four years as it sets the standard of excellence for liberal arts learning in America,” Mullen said.
“Together as the Class of 2018 — as friends and colleagues, joined to generations past and future, move those tassels and proclaim to the world that you are today, tomorrow and always ‘Allegheny,’” Mullen said.
About Allegheny College
One of the nation’s oldest liberal arts colleges, Allegheny College celebrated its bicentennial in 2015. A selective residential college in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Allegheny is one of 40 colleges featured in Loren Pope’s “Colleges That Change Lives.” Allegheny College is known nationally as a place where students with unusual combinations of interests, skills and talents excel. In its 2018 rankings, U.S. News & World Report recognized Allegheny among the top six Most Innovative national liberal arts colleges in the country.