By NATALIE MILLER
Over 300 graduates made their way down the “Red Brick Road” on the campus’ Janet Harvey Trivette Walkway in a final march through campus.
Keeping in tradition with previous classes, this year’s graduates represented a diverse and engaged group of students. Emily Durando, the senior speaker, started R-MC with the intention of entering the medical field.
On graduation day, Durando addressed her class as a drama and English double major, with an art history minor.
“We learned that when you step outside of your comfort zone, when you take a chance on something new, you will be met with welcome surprises,” Durando said of her class’ time at R-MC.
Each R-MC graduate is escorted down the walkway by a sponsor, who sits behind them during the ceremony and hoods them during the ceremony. Sponsors may be a parent, relative, professor, or some other inspirational person.
Computer science major PJ Costello was escorted by his advisor and former professor, Dr. John McManus.
“I fell in love with computer science during his class,” Costello said.
The Virginia Beach native left his mark on R-MC as a member of the student government and part of the college’s tennis team. Costello said his proudest achievement has been his success in the computer science program, which allowed him to present at three computer science conferences in the past few years.
After graduating, Costello plans to work in defense contracting and pursue a masters in aeronautics.
“[R-MC is] the greatest school on earth, in my opinion,” Costello said.
Alexandra Byrd stood with her father before the march down Janet Harvey Trivette Walkway.
“My dad has always been my biggest supporter and always encouraged me to do my best,” Byrd said.
Byrd’s colorful collection of tassels and medals told the story of her four years at Randolph-Macon College. After receiving her degree in biology, Byrd plans to be an emergency room scribe at Saint Mary’s MedStar in Maryland and pursue a medical career.
“I always knew since I was little I wanted to do something medical,” Byrd said.
While maintaining her position in the honors program, Byrd was a member of the Delta Zeta sorority, Omnicron Delta Kappa leadership society, tri-Beta biology fraternity, the Chi Beta Pi national honors society, and played varsity tennis for the college.
“This is more than just a college—it’s a community,” Byrd said. “It feels like I’m leaving my second home.”
This year’s commencement speaker Daniel Weiss, President and interim chief executive of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, was a living testament to his assertion that people should find and pursue their passion.
Weiss, who was the principal speaker R-MC’s President Robert Lindgren’s inauguration in 2006, received an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree during the ceremony.
For the senior class gift, 92 percent of this year’s graduating class donated a record-breaking $12,000 back to the college.