March 31, 2023

Neil deGrasse Tyson will serve as commencement speaker on May 13 at Hampden-Sydney College, and Rev. Matthew A. Tuggle ’03 will serve as baccalaureate speaker on May 12.

Neil deGrasse Tysonheadshot courtesy of Pan World magazineHampden-Sydney College is thrilled to announce that this year’s commencement ceremony on May 13, 2023, will feature remarks from renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson—a fitting capstone to an academic year that has in many ways been a celebration of the sciences at the College.

Dr. Tyson is the fifth head of the world-famous Hayden Planetarium in New York City and the first occupant of its Frederick P. Rose Directorship. He is also a research associate of the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. In addition to dozens of professional publications, Dr. Tyson has authored fifteen books, including his latest, the New York Times-bestselling Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization. He is the recipient of twenty-one honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award given by NASA to a non-government citizen.

Dr. Tyson’s commencement address will be wonderful opportunity for graduates, guests, and the Hampden-Sydney community to hear thought-provoking remarks from one of the world’s most prominent scientists.

The College is also thrilled to welcome Reverend Matthew A. Tuggle ’03 back to campus as baccalaureate speaker on May 12. Matt currently serves as an Executive Minister at Highland Park United Methodist Church, a large congregation in Dallas, where he also leads the church’s contemporary worship community.

Dr. Tyson and Rev. Tuggle will both be awarded honorary degrees as part of the commencement ceremony, as will Scott Nickerson ‘95, who delivered the keynote address at the Pauley Science Center dedication in November and who serves as Senior Vice President, Personalized Cancer Vaccine Manufacturing at Moderna.

Photo Credit: Cutty McGill, Penworld Magazine

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