Main Menu — May 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm

LIVE – Watch SCSU’s Graduation Here – LIVE 10:30am, 3:00pm Saturday, May 5th


Graduate student Alex Ames will call for a renewed sense of civic engagement during his Spring Semester Commencement address May 5 in the Halenbeck Hall Gymnasium.

The Pine City native is among more than 1,800 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students earning degrees this spring.

Graduates participate in a 10:30 a.m. or 3 p.m. ceremony based on the school or college with which they’re affiliated.

The Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Daniel O’Bryant, assistant professor music, will perform.

Speaking at the 10:30 a.m. ceremony will be Kathryn Denn, Prior Lake, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice studies. View the text of her remarks (PDF).

Denn earned a $1,000 scholarship from the Duluth-based Olga B. Hart Education Foundation. She is a gang crime specialist, certified by the National Gang Crime Research Center in Chicago and a volunteer at the Central Minnesota Sexual Assualt Center in St. Cloud. Denn is pursuing a career in law enforcement. Viewher resume (PDF).

Ames, who is speaking at the 3 p.m. ceremony, will argue in his address that America’s shift from front porches to backyard decks is symbolic of a decline in civic engagement. View the text of his speech (PDF).

According to a early draft of Ames’ remarks, he’ll argue that 21st century Americans have less “social capital” than previous generations.

“Because Americans are spending less time meeting new kinds of people through civic engagement, we possess less social capital than our ancestors,” Ames writes. “The most significant social capital we can possess is that which connects us to people different from ourselves. That’s what gives us the resources we need to solve problems we can’t handle on our own. The challenge is to cultivate relationships with those with whom, at least on the surface, we share little in common.”

Ames is admitted to the prestigious Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, sponsored by the University of Delaware and the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library. The Winterthur complex, formerly the country home of a duPont chemical company heir, is in Winterthur, Del., an hour southwest of Philadelphia.

Ames’ master’s degree in public history is capped by a thesis titled “Mansions of Memories: Preservation, Destruction and the Construction of Place in Central Minnesota.” His work experiences and internships include stints at the Museum of America and the Sea, Mystic, Ct., the Stearns County History Museum, St. Cloud, and the Linden Hill Historic Events Center, Little Falls. View Ames’ resume (PDF).

Prelude music selections will be “March to the Scaffold” by Hector Belioz, “Agnes Dei”
by Gabriel Faure and “Russian Easter Festival Overture” (Abridged) by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

The processional and recessional will by Edward Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Program selections will include “America, The Beautiful” by Katherine Lee Bates and Samuel Ward, arranged by Carmen Dragon and “University Hymn” by Harvey Waugh and Amy Dale.

Parking is free on streets adjacent to campus and a dollar per hour in the 4th Avenue Parking Ramp.


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