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More Than 1,600 Students to March in EIU Commencement Ceremonies

Apr-30-2013

More than 1,600 graduating students plan to participate in commencement ceremonies at Eastern Illinois University on Saturday, May 4.

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.  Kaci L. Abolt, student body president, and Andrew S. Methven, chair, EIU Faculty Senate, will also address the graduates.

Representing Eastern’s Board of Trustees will be Joseph R. Dively (9 a.m. and 3 p.m.), Kristopher M. Goetz (noon) and Jarrod T. Scherle (6 p.m.).

Each ceremony will feature a special guest speaker who will present the official “Charge to the Class.”  Dr. Gordon L. Grado, EIU alumnus (’74) and founder/medical director of the Southwest Oncology Centers and the Grado Radiation Center of Excellence, will speak at both 9 a.m. and noon, while William L. Robinson, EIU alumnus (’76) and senior vice president/general manager (retired) of the Pepsi Bottling Group, plans to speak at both the 3 and 6 p.m. ceremonies.

At noon, special recognition will be given to Melanie B. Mills, professor of both communication studies and women’s studies, who was named the 2013 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, four honorary degrees will be presented at this year’s ceremonies.  Dr. Grado will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Sciences degree at 9 a.m.; Gwendolyn J. Dungy, EIU alumna (’65, ’67) and former president of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and Sean Payton, EIU alumnus (’87) and coach of the New Orleans Saints, will receive an honorary Doctor of Pedagogy degree and Doctor of Public Service degree, respectively, during the 3 p.m. ceremony; and Don L. Gher, EIU alumnus (’73) and, most recently, managing director/chief investment officer (retired) of Coldstream Capital Management, which he co-founded in 1996, will receive an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree at 6 p.m.

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

  • John Best, professor of psychology, representing the College of Sciences during the morning ceremony.  Best has been a member of Eastern’s faculty since 1979. 
  • Jeannie Ludlow, associate professor of English and women’s studies, representing the College of Arts and Humanities during the noon ceremony.  Ludlow has been a member of Eastern’s faculty since 2008.
  • Richard L. Roberts, chair, counseling and student development, representing the College of Education and Professional Studies during the 3 p.m. ceremony.  Roberts has been a member of Eastern’s faculty since 1998.  (Roberts is representing the CEPS in honor of James Wallace, an associate professor for counseling and student development, who died shortly after being chosen for this honor.  Wallace had been a member of Eastern’s faculty since 2001.)
  • Thomas R. Hawkins, associate professor, School of Technology, representing the Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences during the 6 p.m. ceremony.  Hawkins has been a member of Eastern’s faculty since 2003.

Faculty marshals are given the honor of carrying the college banner for their respective colleges.  This spring's faculty marshals are as follows:  Rebecca M. Throneburg, Graduate School and College of Sciences, and Mary E. Konkle, College of Sciences, 9 a.m.; Jeffrey G. Boshart, Graduate School and College of Arts and Humanities, Shirley A. Bell, College of Arts and Humanities, and Michael W. Cornebise, School of Continuing Education, noon; Clinton Warren, Graduate School and College of Education and Professional Studies, and Kathleen Phillips, College of Education and Professional Studies, 3 p.m.; and Linda Simpson, Graduate School and Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences, and Lucy Campanis, Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences, 6 p.m.