Champlain's Largest Class Graduates with Honors

Adam Rowe '14

BURLINGTON, VT - Champlain College President David F. Finney conferred 520 associate and bachelor degrees to the largest graduating class in the College's history on May 3 under a tent on Edmunds Field adjacent to Skiff Hall. More than 4,000 people attended the ceremony.

The College's 136th Undergraduate Commencement presented honorary degrees to a nationally known creative educator Fern Tavalin, and two Vermont philanthropists, Bob Stiller, founder of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and his wife, Christine Stiller, president of the Stiller Family Foundation and Adventure Girls of VT.

Tavalin spoke about the history of the internet and creativity on behalf of the honorary degree recipients. She received a Doctor of Fine Arts honorary degree. Bob Stiller received a Doctor of Commerce honorary degree, and Christine Stiller will receive Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree.   Two of the honorary degree recipients are being honored in part for their support of the College through The Stiller Family Foundation. In 2012, the Foundation announced a major grant to Champlain to help establish the Robert P. Stiller School of Business and a permanent endowment to promote programs in Appreciative Inquiry and other positive psychology based business and community management approaches.

Marguerite Dibble '12 offered the Alumni Welcome and Chelsea Hutching '14, president of the Student Government Association delivered the Senior Address.

President David Finney delivered his signature "You" address to students offering up a long list of accomplishments of the Class of 2014 in the classroom, in the community and at play. This was Finney's last commencement as President of the College. He is retiring on June 30. His replacement, Donald J. Laackman of Chicago, will begin on July 1.

 The College also marked the 50th anniversary of the school's Alma Mater, composed by  James Beams of Richmond, Vt., who wrote the music 1964.  Beams, a professional opera performer and music educator, perform the Alma Mater with Registrar Becky Peterson and senior Marketing major Kayla Hedman of Griswold, Conn., at the conclusion of the ceremony. Watch the Free Press story. 

Watch the full Commencement 2014 video HERE.

Banner for each division

See more photos of the Commencement  - Click here 

Photos from the Senior Class "Last Hurrah Cruise" - Click here

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit