BAR HARBOR — College of the Atlantic’s 46th commencement is set for Saturday, June 8, beginning at 2 p.m. Peace activist and atomic bomb survivor Koko Tanimoto Kondo will give the keynote address.
Kondo was eight months old in 1945 when the first atomic bomb was dropped just a half-mile from her house in Hiroshima, Japan, burying her mother and herself under their home. Too young to remember details of the event, Kondo grew up witnessing its horrific consequences. She travels the world relating the story of hibakusha, which means “explosion-affected people.”
“It has been 74 years since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and there will soon be a time when survivors are no longer here to tell their stories,” said student Devyn Adams. Now is the time to listen, and to carry these stories with us into the future.”
Providing student perspectives during the commencement ceremony will be Aadityakrishna Sathish, Ky Osguthorpe and Jack Budd. Susan Bell will offer words of welcome and Devyn Adams will introduce the keynote speaker.
The program will begin with a bagpipe processional by the Anah Highlanders. Two COA professors, each of whom is retiring this year, will share Grand Marshal duties; creative writing and literature professor William Carpenter, who is a founding faculty member of the college, and philosophy professor John Visvader.
Honorary Master of Philosophy degrees in human ecology will be granted to Kondo and to retired Acadia National Park biologist Bruce Connery. Over his 25 years with Acadia, Connery worked extensively with faculty and students at College of the Atlantic and other institutions, mentoring dozens of COA students along the way.
Music at the commencement will be provided by the Maine Saxophone Quartet, featuring the work of COA Composer-in-Residence John Cooper. A reception in Newlin Garden will follow the ceremony.