Any other year, the graduates of Berkshire Community College and their friends and families would be filling The Shed at Tanglewood in Lenox.
But instead of taking the stage, speakers stood alone in front of a backdrop. And instead of being handed their certificates and diplomas, the more than 200 graduates' names were read as their pictures were shown.
Perhaps that is a Harvard graduate working in social work or perhaps it is the two children sitting in the shed at Tanglewood watching their mom delivering the valedictorian address for Berkshire Community College's Commencement.
Jamaica Kincaid, author of a dozen seminal works of fiction and nonfiction, will address graduates at the 50th commencement ceremony of Bard College at Simon's Rock on Saturday, May 18, at 11 a.m. on Blodgett lawn.
The commencement speaker is health-care entrepreneur and philanthropist William Lyons III, who will receive an honorary degree. Also receiving honorary degrees will be Savina Martin, co-chair of the Massachusetts Poor People's Campaign, and Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, executive director of Catholic Charities Agency in the Diocese of Springfield.
Mary-Claire King, an award-winning geneticist at the University of Washington who first discovered the breast and ovarian cancer gene, will be the principal speaker at Williams College's 230th commencement exercises on Sunday, June 2.
In addition, Richard Alcombright, mayor of North Adams for four terms, will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree; and Shirley Edgerton, director of Youth Alive Inc., and cultural proficiency coach for Pittsfield Public Schools, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.