On April 4 2018, SMCM newsroom announced that this year’s commencement speaker will be Wanda Queen Draper, an activist and communications expert. Draper is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism, the Johns Hopkins University Graduate School of Contemporary Studies and the University of Maryland School of Law. According to SMCM newsroom, Draper “is dedicated to uplifting and empowering communities in need. Her view of community service as a social responsibility has led her to take on hunger, homeless, and education, amongst many other worthy causes. The highlight of her community service was serving on the founding board of the Reginald Lewis Museum from 1999 to 2008. During that time, $38 million was raised to build the museum and $2 million to install the permanent collection.”
Leading up to Commencement, senior week starts the week after finals and officially begins on May 9, with a Beach Day Picnic at the Waterfront. Senior Gala takes place in the Campus Center at 6 PM on May 10, and on May 11, graduating students meet at the Rec Courts in to rehearse crossing the stage. Later that day, students and their families have the option to attend a Family Dinner at the Great Room, followed by the Senior Convocation on the Townhouse Greens, where an as-of-yet not announced faculty speaker chosen by seniors will deliver an address, and students will light candles and watch a slideshow of submitted images. All this is gearing up for the big day itself, where seniors will get to celebrate their graduation from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and hear Draper’s address.
Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 12 at 10 am.