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EIU Media Relations

EIU commencement ceremonies set for Saturday, May 4


(Charleston, IL) – Eastern Illinois University will be buzzing with excitement Saturday as family and friends of new Panther alumni pack Lantz Arena to celebrate the academic achievements of EIU’s most recent graduating class.

Commencement ceremonies for the university’s various colleges will take place at 9 a.m., noon, 3 and 6 p.m. May 4 in Lantz Arena, on Eastern Illinois University’s campus, 600 Lincoln Avenue in Charleston.  Students from the College of Health and Human Services will march in the morning ceremony, the Lumpkin College of Business and Technology at the noon ceremony, the College of Education at the 3 p.m. ceremony, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the 6 p.m. ceremony. Students from the Graduate School will walk with their respective colleges during each ceremony.

EIU President Dr. David M. Glassman will preside over the day’s ceremonies. Each ceremony will feature a special guest speaker who will present the official Charge to the Class. Graduates participating in the morning and noon ceremonies will hear from Rahul Wahi, co-founder and CEO of the LLT Group, Inc., a digital marketing agency he started with fellow EIU alumnus Anthony Zipparro in 2010. Wahi received a management degree from EIU is a recent nominee for Forbes 30 under 30 list whose motto in life is “dream big and hustle hard.” Graduates participating in the afternoon and evening ceremonies will hear from Julie Proscia, an equity legal partner with SmithAmundsen LLC in Chicago. Proscia graduated from EIU in 1997 with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and earned a master’s degree in history from EIU in 1998 before graduating from the Northern Illinois University College of Law in 2003. Proscia also was recently honored as one of the 40 Attorneys Under 40 in the State of Illinois to Watch by Chicago Lawyer magazine.

Commencement marshals lead the procession while carrying the university mace.  This spring’s commencement marshals include Dr. Kathleen Phillips, professor, health studies, 9 a.m.; Dr. David Boggs, professor and assistant chair, management, noon; Dr. Catherine Polydore, associate professor, counseling and higher education, 3 p.m.; and Dr. Douglas Klarup, professor, analytical chemistry, 6 p.m.

Faculty marshals for the day include: 9 a.m.: Dr. Jon Oliver, department chair and professor of kinesiology (graduate), and Dr. Nikki Hillier, assistant professor of health promotion (undergraduate); noon: Dr. Peter Liu, professor and assistant chair, school of technology (graduate), and Dr. Gabriel Grant, assistant professor, school of technology (undergraduate); 3 p.m.: Dr. Jennifer Stringfellow, associate professor, special education (graduate), and Dr. Sham’ah Md-Yunus, professor, teaching learning and foundations (undergraduate); and 6 p.m.: Dr. Margaret Floress, associate professor, psychology (graduate); and Dr. Robin Murray, professor, English (undergraduate).

Student commencement speakers for the day will include Sarah Bryden, 9 a.m.; Tara Puterbaugh, noon; Alicia Henning, 3 p.m.; and Edwyn Mitchell, 6 p.m.

During the 6 p.m. ceremony, special recognition also will be given to Dr. Newton Key, director of EIU’s faculty development and innovation center and professor of history, who was named the 2019 recipient of Eastern’s Distinguished Faculty Award. This award is presented annually by the Faculty Senate to a full-time faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, professional research/creative activity and service.

The Eastern Illinois University Police Department will be helping to coordinate traffic outside Lantz Arena throughout the day. Eastern Illinois University officials encourage community residents to be aware of the increased traffic around the university, and to consider alternate routes when possible.

For more information about EIU, or to learn more about its various programs and services, visit the EIU website at, or call EIU’s public information office at (217) 581-7400.



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Contact Information

Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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