Approximately 630 summer and fall graduates plan to participate in Eastern Illinois University's formal commencement ceremonies, scheduled to take place Saturday, Dec. 20, in Lantz Arena.
Ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Guest tickets are required for admission.
Graduating seniors from the Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences and the College of Arts and Humanities will march in the morning ceremony, while students from the College of Education and Professional Studies, the College of Sciences and the School of Continuing Education (Bachelor of Arts in General Studies Degree) will march in the afternoon. Graduate students will march with their respective colleges.
President William L. Perry will preside over the ceremonies. Music will be provided by the EIU Wind Symphony.
Vincent Gutowski, who has been named the 2008 recipient of the Luis Clay Mendez Distinguished Service Award, will be publicly recognized at 2 p.m. for his superlative service to Eastern, to his profession and to the community during his 25 years at the university. This award is presented annually by Eastern's Faculty Senate.
Don Gher, co-founder and retired managing director/CIO of Coldstream Capital Management, will present the "Charge to the Class" during the morning ceremony. Sue Payton, secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, research and development, will speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony. Both Gher and Payton are EIU alumni.
Also addressing graduates will be Faculty Senate Chairperson John Henry Pommier and Student Body President Levi Bulgar.
Representing Eastern's Board of Trustees will be Julie Nimmons of Litchfield at 10 a.m. and Robert Webb of Mattoon at 2 p.m.
Traditionally, a commencement marshal leads the commencement procession while carrying the university mace, a symbol of honor accorded a faculty member. The commencement marshal for the 10 a.m. ceremony will be Kathleen O'Rourke, associate professor in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences, who will represent the Graduate School. Representing the School of Continuing Education at 2 p.m. will be Joy Russell, assistant professor of special education.
An EIU tradition also allows faculty members the honor of carrying the college banner for their colleges during the procession. Honorees are chosen by their respective colleges.
This year's faculty marshals for the morning ceremony are Rigoberto Chinchilla, assistant professor with the School of Technology, representing the Graduate School and the Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences; Carla Honselman, assistant professor with the School of Family and Consumer Sciences, representing the LCBAS; Edmund Wehrle, assistant professor of history, representing the Graduate School and the College of Arts and Humanities; and Allan Horney, professor of music, representing the CAH.
This year's faculty marshals for the afternoon ceremony are John Dively, assistant professor, educational administration, representing the Graduate School and the College of Education and Professional Studies; Rebecca Barnett, instructor, student teaching, representing the CEPS; Ronan Bernas, professor of psychology, representing the Graduate School and the College of Sciences; Kathleen Bower, associate professor of geology/geography, representing the COS; and Richard Wandling, professor of political science, representing the School of Continuing Education.