About 1,640 students are to graduate from Eastern Illinois University this spring, and the majority plan to participate in commencement exercises Saturday, May 6.
Ceremonies are set for 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. 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 (Board of Trustees 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 p.m.
Graduate students will walk with their respective colleges.
Addressing graduates at all four ceremonies will be Lou Hencken, president; Jill Nilsen, vice president for external relations; Ryan Berger, student body president; and Assegedetch Haile Mariam, chairwoman of the EIU Faculty Senate.
Representing Eastern’s Board of Trustees will be Leo Welch (9 a.m.), Julie Nimmons (noon), Robert Webb (3 p.m.), and Don Yost (6 p.m.).
In addition, each ceremony will feature a guest speaker who will present the official commencement address:
● Judge Gary A. Jacobs, an EIU graduate who serves as the presiding judge for Coles County (9 a.m. ceremony);
● Patrick Coburn, who joined the Springfield State Journal Register after leaving EIU and went on to become the newspaper’s publisher (noon);
● Charles A. Rohn, retiring dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies (3 p.m.); and
● Mark A. Dronen, president and chief executive officer of GO! Products in Elmhurst, who was the 2005 Distinguished Alumnus for EIU’s School of Business (6 p.m.).
Coburn will also be one of four alumni to receive Honorary Doctor of Public Service degrees. Joining Coburn in the honor are actor William Phipps, financial services expert Jeffrey G. Scott and cable telecommunications industry leader Charles Jacobs Younger.
Ruth Hoberman, professor of English, will formally receive a Distinguished Faculty Award at noon. This award is presented annually to a full-time faculty member who has excelled in teaching, professional research/creative activity and service.
This year’s commencement marshals are James A. McGaughey, associate professor of biological sciences (9 a.m.); Susan Bazargan, professor of English (noon); Veronica P. Stephen, professor of early childhood, elementary and middle level education (3 p.m.); and Charles W. Wootton, professor in the School of Business (6 p.m.).
Faculty marshals are given the honor of carrying the college banner for their respective colleges:
● Barbara A. Lawrence of the College of Sciences, and Anupama Sharma of the Graduate School (9 a.m.);
● Charles Titus of the College of Arts and Humanities, Sace E. Elder of the Graduate School, and Mahyar Izadi of the School of Continuing Education (noon);
● Robert Doyle of the College of Education and Professional Studies, and Linda M. Reven of the Graduate School (3 p.m.); and
● Timothy H. Mills of the Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences, and Yunus Kathawala of the Graduate School (6 p.m.).
Special recognition will be given to five Livingston C. Lord Scholarship recipients: Shannon Inboden of Robinson, Whitney Puzey of Fairmount, Emily Wisniewski of Springfield, Ashley Tomlinson of Pekin and Julie Culbertson of Vandalia. These prestigious scholarships, named after Eastern’s first president, are given annually to juniors.