Commencement for Class of 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Click here to join to join the Olinimages Flickr group and access Commencement 2011 photos.

The Commencement ceremony includes presentation of candidates for graduation, conferring of degrees by the President and the Commencement address. No honorary degrees will be presented.

Commencement Ceremony on the Olin Great Lawn

The 2012 ceremony will begin at 3:00 p.m. (sharp) on the Olin College Great Lawn. Each graduate will be called to the stage by name to receive his/her degree. A photographer will be recording the event. Information on how to obtain these photographs will available through the Communication Office following Commencement. Guests are encouraged to wear business casual attire to commencement events.


Wellesley will be hosting it's Annual Veteran’s Parade at 1 p.m. on the 20th which will cause some roads to be block to traffic in the Wellesley Center area. The parade begins at the junction of Routes 9 and 16 and continues west along Washington Street (Route 16) to the reviewing stand in Wellesley Square, ending at the Tailby Parking lot. Please be aware and alert your guests attending the Commencement of this potential traffic delay and review alternate Needham routes to the campus. Directions to campus can be found on Olin's main page under "Campus." When departing Olin after the Commencement Ceremony and subsequent events please avoid Rte. 16 and Rte. 135 west and pursue alternate routes.

Commencement Schedule

Saturday, May 19

3:30 pm Inaugural Commencement Weekend Welcome and External Achievement recognition event Milas Hall Auditorium
4:00 - 6:00 pm President's Reception Olin Oval and Campus Center


Sunday, May 20

Guest entrance to the tent will be staggered as follows:

2:00 pm Guests requiring assistance
2:15 pm Class of 2012 families 
2:30 pm Alumni and other invited guests (e.g., President's Council) 
2:45 pm Classes of 2013, 2014 and 2015 

The Ceremony will take place as follows:

3:00 pm Ceremony begins 
4:30 pm Ceremony ends and a reception follows in the Oval 


Commencement Speaker

Nick Donofrio

Former Executive Vice President, IBM
Senior Fellow, Kauffman Foundation

Upon recommendation of the Commencement Steering Committee and with the consent of the Board of Trustees, President Richard K. Miller has invited Nicholas M. Donofrio to give the main address at Olin's seventh Commencement on May 20, 2012. 

Mr. Donofrio is a senior fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.  He serves on the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board and his appointment as a member of the State of Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education was recently announced by the Governor of Connecticut.  He uses his vast experience as an innovator and entrepreneur in techology and science to explore programming opportunities for the Kauffman Foundation's initiative, Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation, which is aimed at creating high-growth companies.  A 44-year IBM veteran, he served as an IBM fellow, the company's highest technical honor.  From 1997 until his retirement in October 2008, he served as executive vice president of Innovation and Technology.  In addition to his most recent role, he served in a variety of capacities, including vice chairman of the IBM International Foundation and chairman of the Board of Governors for the IBM Academy of Technology.  Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards, including two IBM Invention Achievement Awards, two IBM Outstanding Innovation Awards, CNBC's Overall Technology Leadership Award in 2005, and the Excellence in Leadership Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2008.  He holds seven technology patents, is a member of numerous technical and science honor societies, and holds several board positions.  He served on the board of directors for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering and was board chair from 1997 to 2002.  In 2005, he was appointed by the U.S. Department of Education to serve on the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, a 20-member delegation of business and university leaders charged with developing a new national strategy for post-secondary education that meets the needs of a diverse population.  He received his B.S.E.E. from RPI in 1967, his M.S.E.E. from Syracuse University in 1971 and has several honorary doctorates in engineering and science from various U.S. and European colleges and universities. 

Members of the Olin community are invited to add names of potential speakers to the Steering Committee's working list for 2013 and beyond.  Suggestions may be sent to Dean Rod Crafts ( and should include your rationale, any relationship your nominee may have to Olin, and if you have any special connection to the nominee that would facilitate our contacting her or him.