More than 1,400 undergraduate and graduate students plan to participate in commencement ceremonies at Eastern Illinois University on Saturday, May 9.
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 during each ceremony.
EIU President William Perry will preside over the ceremonies.
Representing Eastern’s Board of Trustees will be Roger L. Kratochvil (9 a.m.), Jan Spivey Gilchrist (noon), Robert D. Webb (3 p.m.) and Joseph R. Dively (6 p.m.).
Each ceremony will feature a special guest speaker who will present the official “Charge to the Class.” Kenneth J. Baker, retired director of campus recreation and NFL referee, will speak at 9 a.m. Mike Shanahan, retired NFL coach, plans to speak at both the noon and 3 p.m. ceremonies. Barbara Baurer, retired chief operating officer for County Financial and honorary degree recipient, will speak during the 6 p.m. ceremony. All three speakers are alumni of Eastern.
At the 9 a.m. ceremony, special recognition will be given to William E. Addison, professor of psychology, who was named the 2015 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, Rebecca M. Throneburg, who was selected as EIU’s 2014 Luis Clay Mendez Distinguished Service Award recipient for her contributions to the university, the field of communication disorders and sciences, and the community, will be formally recognized. The award honors the memory of Mendez, an EIU professor of Spanish who died in 2003.
Two honorary degrees will be awarded during Saturday’s ceremonies. Nationally recognized cartoonist/illustrator V. Gene Myers will be presented for the Doctor of Humane Letters degree at noon, while businesswoman Barbara Baurer will receive her Doctor of Public Service degree at 6. Both individuals are EIU graduates.
Commencement marshals lead the procession while carrying the university mace inscribed with past marshals' names. This spring's commencement marshals are as follows:
Faculty marshals are given the honor of carrying the college banner for their respective colleges. This spring's faculty marshals are as follows: Christopher R. Laingen, Graduate School and College of Sciences, and Britto P. Nathan, College of Sciences, 9 a.m.; Randall L. Beebe, Graduate School and College of Arts and Humanities, Timothy A. Shonk, College of Arts and Humanities, and Luke Steinke, School of Continuing Education, noon; Melissa L. Jones-Bromenshenkel, Graduate School and College of Education and Professional Studies, and Christy M. Hooser, College of Education and Professional Studies, 3 p.m.; and Ingyu Chiou, Graduate School and Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences, and William C. Minnis, Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences, 6 p.m.