April 26, 2021

Goucher College Class of 2020 and 2021 Commencement speakers announced

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott will be the keynote speaker for the Class of 2021 Commencement ceremony and the U.S. House of Representatives Chaplain Ret. Rear Admiral Margaret Grun Kibben ’82 will deliver the keynote address for the Class of 2020.

Goucher College is proud to announce that Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott will be the keynote speaker for the Class of 2021 Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 21, 2021. Due to the pandemic, Goucher will hold the Class of 2020 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 22, 2021, and will welcome the U.S. House of Representatives chaplain, retired Rear Admiral Margaret Grun Kibben ’82, to deliver that keynote address. 

“As recognized changemakers dedicated to lifting marginalized voices, we are honored for Mayor Scott and Chaplain Kibben to join us for these two celebrations,” said Goucher College President Kent Devereaux. “Their work is rooted in service and social justice, much like a Goucher education, and the leadership they offer their communities is an incredible example to our graduates.”  

The Goucher College Class of 2021 celebration will welcome Brandon M. Scott, mayor of Baltimore City, who will be awarded the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters. Scott currently serves as the 52nd mayor of Baltimore. Previously, Scott was president of the Baltimore City Council, where he focused on building safer, stronger communities, cleaning up city government, investing in Baltimore’s young people, and centering equity. He was first elected in 2011 at the age of 27, and he is one of the youngest people ever elected to the Baltimore City Council.

Scott serves on the board of directors of the CollegeBound Foundation and the Center for Urban Families, and he also served as the chair of the National League of Cities’ Large Cities Council. In 2018, he was awarded the Public Service Award from the Young Elected Officials Network.

The Goucher College Class of 2020 celebration will welcome Margaret Grun Kibben, Goucher College alumna and chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2021, Kibben was elected by the House and sworn in by Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the 61st chaplain of the United States House of Representatives. She is the first woman to serve as chaplain in either chamber of Congress. 

Chaplain Kibben was the U.S. Navy’s 26th chief of chaplains, serving as the director of religious ministry for the Department of the Navy and advising the secretary of the Navy, the chief of naval operations, the commandant of the Marine Corps, and the commandant of the Coast Guard on all matters pertaining to religion in their respective services. She led a community of 2,500 active and reserve officers and enlisted religious ministry professionals. 

Her awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (two awards), the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), and the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards). She graduated from Goucher College in 1982 and previously received an honorary doctorate of divinity from the college in 2012. 

For both Commencement ceremonies, Goucher College will be adhering to all state and national public health guidance for physical distancing, face masks, and other measures, due to the continuing pandemic. Each ceremony is planned for outdoors with lessened faculty and staff participation. 

The Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 Goucher College Commencement ceremonies will take place on the campus’s Margaret M. Winslow Great Lawn. Tickets and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within the seven days prior to the ceremony will be required of all attendees. Both ceremonies will be available virtually and livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/gouchercollege.