BRUNSWICK — Bowdoin College will graduate 452 students, including 56 from Maine, in its 204th commencement ceremony on Saturday.
President Barry Mills will preside over a ceremony on the terrace of the college’s Museum of Art. In the event of severe weather, graduation will be held at Sidney J. Watson Arena.
Bowdoin has not held an indoor commencement since 1986.
Graduates hail from 37 states, including 90 from Massachusetts, 64 from New York and 36 from California.
Honoring a tradition that began in 1806, Bowdoin gives speaking honors to graduating seniors. Between 1806 and 1877 every graduate spoke during the ceremony. Since the 1880s the commencement speakers have been picked through a competition.
This year, Samantha Lena Scully of Covington, Ga., and Ian Fisher Yaffe of Rockville, Md. will speak. The two seniors will join past graduation speakers such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Thomas Brackett Reed and Robert E. Peary.
Other participants will include former Gov. John R. McKernan Jr. and former Penobscot Indian Nation Chief James G. Sappier, who will deliver the invocation.
Bowdoin will award honorary degree doctorates to playwright Edward Albee; landscape artist Stephen W. Hannock; Olufunmilayo Olopade, an international leader in breast cancer research; Kenneith Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, and Canadian environmentalist Shelia Watt-Cloutier.
On Friday at 1:15 p.m. Hannock will present “From Paint to Pixels: Influencing the Culture from the Liberal Arts Community” at the Kresage Auditorium of the Visual Arts Center. Later, at 2:30 p.m., Watt-Cloutier will present “Bringing the Right to be Cold into U.S. Climate Consciousness” at the Kresage.
Albee will be the guest of honor at a meet-the-playwright gathering in the Shannon Room at Hubbard Hall at 3 p.m.
The college’s baccalaureate ceremony will be held Friday at 4:30 p.m. in Watson Arena. Roth will deliver the keynote address, “How Should We Right the Wrongs Committed in Fighting Terrorism?”