Approximately 1,500 graduating students plan to participate in commencement ceremonies at Eastern Illinois University on Saturday, May 7.
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 (Bachelor of Arts in General Studies Program) 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. Michelle Murphy, student body president, and John Henry Pommier, chair, EIU Faculty Senate, will also address the graduates.
Representing Eastern's Board of Trustees will be Leo Welch and Christine Anderson (9 a.m.), Roger Kratochvil and Bill O'Rourke (noon), Robert Webb (3 p.m.) and Julie Nimmons (6 p.m.).
Each ceremony will feature a special guest speaker who will present the official commencement address. Julie Lupien, EIU alumna ('81) and executive director of From Mission to Mission, a national organization that provides assistance to international missionaries, will speak at 9 a.m., while Thomas S. Johnson, a Rockford, Ill., attorney, plans to speak at noon. Rodney P. McClendon, vice president for administration at Texas A&M University, will address students during both the 3 and 6 p.m. ceremonies.
Special recognition will be given to David Raybin, professor of English, who was named the 2011 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.
In addition, Aurora native and EIU alumnus Stephen A. Gosselin - business leader, philanthropist and volunteer - will be presented with an honorary degree.
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: 9 a.m. - Assege HaileMariam, Graduate School and College of Sciences, and Mahmoud Kashefi, College of Sciences; Noon - Marilyn Coles, Graduate School and College of Arts and Humanities, Dwain Naragon, College of Arts and Humanities, and Craig Eckert, School of Continuing Education; 3 p.m. - Brent Walker, Graduate School and College of Education and Professional Studies, and Charles Eberly, College of Education and Professional Studies; and 6 p.m. - David Boggs, Graduate School and Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences, and Thomas McDonald, Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences.
Ethan L. Ingram, a mathematics major from Toledo, will serve as the Honors College banner marshal during all four ceremonies.