Christendom College will set a record at 1 p.m. Saturday when it graduates 127 seniors, the highest number in the school's history.
A college administrator said the school will award 125 bachelor of arts degrees and two for associate of arts.
“It is our largest class ever by over 10 graduates," said Zachary Smith, a Christendom spokesperson. "We have an intentionally smaller size, due to our desire to offer a highly personalized Catholic liberal arts education. We've been seeing increasing enrollment numbers each year for a number of years now, bringing us closer to our ultimate goal of 550 students, fulfilling the vision of our late founder, Dr. Warren Carroll. This largest graduating class ever is a testament to our reaching that goal and to the ever-growing popularity of our collegiate offerings.”
One senior graduating Saturday is 21-year-old Nicole Feldman, of Potomac, Maryland.
“I am excited what the future holds for me,” Feldman said. “I am walking away with freedom knowing I can do a lot of things because of the wide nature of my education. You walk away a well-rounded person.”
She is going to start working June 10 as a communications and graphic design specialist for an architectural firm in Washington, D.C.
Feldman has been interning for the company for the last four years and in combination with the work she did for the college yearbook, she said she is confident as she begins not only her career but a new phase of her life.
“I have grown in what is important to me. What my values are. I know what to look for in friends. Now I am a leader for others. The (Christendom College) staff and faculty were huge in that,” Feldman said.”Graduating will definitely be bittersweet.”
Janet Smith will deliver the commencement address, where she will also receive an honorary doctorate.
Smith is the author of "Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later" and of "The Right to Privacy" and the editor of "Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader." Her articles have been published in many academic journals, and she has been a regular columnist for the National Catholic Register and has appeared on several news channels. Smith is a member of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission, according to the school.
Fr. Robert Spitzer will also be honored at the ceremonies and is scheduled to receive the college’s St. Peter Canisius award before delivering remarks.
Spitzer is the author of many books, including "New Proofs for the Existence of God," and has appeared on several shows including Larry King Live — where he famously debated Stephen Hawking. Spitzer is also the president of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith and the Spitzer Center. He has taught courses at Georgetown, Gonzaga, Seattle University, and St. Louis University, according to the school.
The graduation ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Crusader Gymnasium at the college located at 134 Christendom Drive in Front Royal.
Corrections: This story has been updated. The goal for the number of students the college would like to serve should have been stated as 550 and not 500, which was provided by the source. Also, due to an editing error, Zachary Smith's name was misspelled.