Lafayette College will award honorary degrees to three distinguished individuals at the College’s 180th Commencement Saturday, May 23, 2015.

Karl Stirner speaks at the ribbon cutting for the Karl Stirner Arts Trail. Photo by Ken Ek. Karl Stirner, internationally known sculptor and pioneer of the arts community in Easton, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.


Miles Young, president of Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, photo courtesy of Association Hermione-Lafayette. Miles Young, worldwide chairman and chief executive of Ogilvy & Mather and president of Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.


Blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer shown at summit of Mount Everest. He will speak at Lafayette College's 180th Commencement in May 2015.Lafayette announced previously that Erik Weihenmayer, blind adventurer, author, and filmmaker, will be the Commencement speaker for the Class of 2015 and will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. “I am delighted that Erik Weihenmayer will address our graduates and parents at Commencement,” says President Alison Byerly. “His courage, passion, and accomplishments are extraordinary, as is his selfless commitment to helping others overcome obstacles. I know our students will be uplifted and inspired by his example.”

Commencement will be held at 2:30 p.m. on the Quad. The academic procession will begin at 2:15 p.m. The annual Baccalaureate service will be held at 10:30 a.m. the same day, also on the Quad. In case of rain, one or both ceremonies may be held in Kirby Sports Center.

Stirner brings new life to metal that has been discarded. He fuses natural materials with manmade and juxtaposes smooth surfaces with rough and pitted ones to form organic shapes. He plays thick against thin, flexible against inflexible, to create a drama of contradiction. His work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, and La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, among many other venues.

Easton’s Karl Stirner Arts Trail is named for him. It is a scenic 2.5-mile path that runs along the Bushkill Creek from Lafayette’s Williams Arts Campus on North Third St. to the old Simon Silk Mill on 13th St., which is being redeveloped into a cultural, residential, and residential hub.

Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America is a non-profit group supporting the journey to America of a handcrafted replica of the frigate that brought the young Marquis de Lafayette from France to General Washington in 1780 with a message of French support, a pivotal point in the American War of Independence.

The majestic Hermione is the largest and most authentically built Tall Ship in the last 150 years. It began its transatlantic journey April 18. It is scheduled to arrive in Yorktown June 5 and to visit Mount Vernon, Alexandria, Annapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, among other port cities on the Eastern seaboard. The project honors the alliance between France and the United States and celebrates the young Marquis de Lafayette – charismatic, enthusiastic, persuasive – whose motto was Cur non: “Why not?” While there are dozens of towns, streets and parks across the country bearing the Marquis’ name, Lafayette is the only college with this honor.

Young joined Ogilvy & Mather, the international advertising, marketing, and public relations agency, in 1982. In 1995, he moved to Hong Kong to take the position of chairman of Ogilvy in Asia and spent nearly 15 years in Asia before becoming global chief executive in 2009.

He is chair of the U.S. Pakistan Business Council, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Prime Minister of Turkey’s Investment Advisory Council. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.

Lafayette is a highly selective, national liberal arts college in Easton, Pa. with 2,400 students and 215 full-time faculty, offering a wide variety of undergraduate degree programs including engineering.


Photos courtesy of Lafayette College as noted. Higher resolution images available online.

Karl Stirner speaks at the ribbon cutting for the Karl Stirner Arts Trail in Easton, PA. Photo by Ken Ek,
Miles Young, president of Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America.  Photo courtesy of Association Hermione-Lafayette,
Erik Weihenmayer on summit of Mount Everest. Photography by Michael Brown,


Kristine Y. Todaro
Director of Special Projects/Media Relations
Communications Div.
Lafayette College
Easton, Pa. 18042
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