Department of History Class of 2019 (photo: Sean Carter Photography)

There was standing room only in Modern Languages Building Auditorium 3 on Friday, May 3, as family, friends, faculty, and staff packed the room to celebrate 111 students graduating this year with degrees in History. 

Following welcome remarks from Department Chair Jay Cook and Director of Undergraduate Studies Hussein Fancy, Meghan Clark delivered a student address to the Class of 2019 (video below). In her speech, Clark discussed the importance of being courageous when using the past to improve the present.

"As we’ve seen throughout our study of history, more often than not, bravery shows itself when ordinary human beings make a choice to believe and engage in making a better world," she said. "Each of us has a choice to make."

Professor Maris Vinovskis, who is retiring after 45 years in the department, delivered the ceremony's keynote, "Historians and Public Policy" (video below). Professor Vinovskis stressed the importance of understanding historical context when approaching modern issues, and indicated to students the advantages historical training would afford them in their future pursuits. 

Meghan Clark and Colleen Grogan both won the department’s Undergraduate Award for Leadership and Servce. First-year Professor Anna Bonnell Freidin received the Undergradaute Teaching Award.

Click here to see the 2019 commencement program (PDF). Selected photos are available below. Please contact for a complete gallery of high-resolution photos of this event.