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Nearly 1,700 Students to Participate in EIU Commencement Ceremonies on May 5

May-02-2012

Nearly 1,700 graduating students plan to participate in commencement ceremonies at Eastern Illinois University on Saturday, May 5.

Ceremonies will take place at 9 a.m., noon, 3 and 6 p.m. in Lantz Arena.  Guest tickets are required for admission.

Students from the College of Sciences will march in the morning ceremony, the College of Arts and Humanities and the School of Continuing Education at noon, the College of Education and Professional Studies at 3 p.m., and the Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences at 6.

Students from the Graduate School will walk with their respective colleges.

EIU President William Perry will preside over the ceremonies.  Edward M. Hotwagner, student body president, and Andrew S. Methven, chair, EIU Faculty Senate, will also address the graduates.

Representing Eastern’s Board of Trustees will be Roger Kratochvil (9 a.m.), Robert Webb (noon), Joseph Dively (3 p.m.) and Jarrod Scherle (6 p.m.).

Each ceremony will feature a special guest speaker who will present the official commencement address.  Nancy Elwess, EIU alumna (’76) and associate professor/molecular biologist from SUNY Plattsburgh, will speak at 9 a.m., while Robert Corn-Revere, EIU alumnus (’77) and an attorney specializing in First Amendment and communications law, plans to speak at both the noon and 3 p.m. ceremonies.  William Keiper, EIU alumnus (’72) and founder/chairman of FirstGlobal Partners, will address students during the 6 p.m. ceremony.

At noon, special recognition will be given to Bailey K. Young, professor of history, who was named the 2012 recipient of Eastern's Distinguished Faculty Award.  This award is presented annually by the Faculty Senate to a full-time faculty member who has excelled in teaching, professional research/creative activity and service.

Additionally, three honorary degrees will be presented at this year’s ceremonies.  Astronomer Robert E. Holmes Jr. will be presented with an honorary Doctorate of Science at 9 a.m., while Corn-Revere and Julie Nimmons, EIU alumna (’77) and former member of the EIU Board of Trustees, will receive an honorary Doctorate of Laws and Doctorate of Public Service, respectively, at noon.

Commencement marshals lead the procession while carrying the university mace inscribed with past marshals' names.  This spring's commencement marshals are as follows:

  • Peter G. Andrews, chair and professor, mathematics and computer science, representing the College of Sciences during the morning ceremony.  Andrews has been a member of Eastern’s faculty since 1992. 
  • Marilyn J. Coles, professor of music, representing the College of Arts and Humanities during the noon ceremony.  Coles has been a member of Eastern’s faculty since 1988.
  • Phyllis T. Croisant, professor, kinesiology and sports studies, representing the College of Education and Professional Studies during the 3 p.m. ceremony.  Croisant has been a member of Eastern’s faculty since 1984.
  • Norman A. Garrett, professor, School of Business, representing the Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences during the 6 p.m. ceremony.  Garrett has been a member of Eastern’s faculty since 1990.

Faculty marshals are given the honor of carrying the college banner for their respective colleges.  This spring's faculty marshals are as follows:

  • 9 a.m. – Ahmed S. Abou-Zaid, Graduate School and College of Sciences; Leo P. Comerford, College of Sciences.
  • Noon – Patricia K. Belleville, Graduate School and College of Arts and Humanities; Mary Caroline Simpson, College of Arts and Humanities; Richard E. Cavanaugh, School of Continuing Education.
  • 3 p.m. – Stephen E. Lucas, Graduate School and College of Education and Professional Studies; Rebecca J. Cook, College of Education and Professional Studies.
  • 6 p.m. – Deborah A. Woodley, Graduate School and Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences; Vicki A. Hampton, Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences.

Kara Butorac, an accounting major from Bloomington, will serve as the Honors College banner marshal during the first three ceremonies; Margaret Messer, director of Honors Student Affairs, will serve as marshal at the 6 p.m. ceremony.