Hamilton College’s Class & Charter Day celebration, an annual convocation recognizing student and faculty excellence during the preceding academic year, will take place on Monday, May 13, at 4:15 p.m., in the College Chapel.
This year’s speaker is Hamilton alumnus Thomas Schwarz ’66, president of Purchase College, State University of New York. His talk is titled “Inconsequential?”
The ceremony will be available online via live webcast.
Student and faculty award winners will be posted after the event on the Class & Charter Day website.
The first Class & Charter Day was held in 1950. It was the brainchild of then President Robert W. McEwen, who sought to combine the traditional Class Day (originally the last Wednesday of classes when students annually held games, athletic and singing contests, and various other extracurricular activities) with commemoration of the anniversary of the granting of the College’s Charter on May 26, 1812.
Noting that Class Day then fell close to the college’s “birthday,” he conceived the idea of having a convocation in the Chapel to hear an address by an alumnus, faculty member, historian or trustee whose subject would be something related to Hamilton's history and traditions. The occasion also came to include recognition of students with honors and awards. Afterwards, the day would be given over to student fun and games. That tradition has been continued at the college ever since.