Nearly 500 graduates plan to participate in Eastern Illinois University's Fall 2011 commencement ceremonies, scheduled to take place Saturday, Dec. 17, in Lantz Arena.
Ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. and 1 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.
Carl Mito, Eastern alumnus and managing director, Oppenheimer & Company, Chicago, will present the “Charge to the Class” during the morning ceremony, while Donna K. Martin, a graduate of Eastern now serving as CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, will speak in the afternoon.
Also addressing graduates will be Faculty Senate Chairperson Andrew Methven and Student Body President Edward Hotwagner.
Representing Eastern's Board of Trustees will be Jarrod Scherle of Red Bud at 10 a.m. and Robert Webb of Mattoon at 1 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 Andrew McNitt, who, as a professor of political science, will represent the Graduate School. Representing the School of Continuing Education at 1 p.m. will be Reed Benedict, professor of sociology/anthropology.
An EIU tradition also allows faculty members the honor of carrying the college banner for his/her college during the procession.
This year's faculty marshals for the morning ceremony are Jacquelyn Frank, assistant professor, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, representing the Graduate School and the Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences; Richard Wilkinson, associate professor, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, representing the LCBAS; Newton Key, professor of history, representing the Graduate School and the College of Arts and Humanities; and Charles Titus, professor of history, representing the CAH.
This year's faculty marshals for the afternoon ceremony are Carrie Dale, assistant professor of early childhood, elementary and middle level education, representing the Graduate School and the College of Education and Professional Studies; Nick Osborne, associate professor in educational leadership, representing the CEPS; Kraig Wheeler, professor of chemistry, representing the Graduate School and the College of Sciences; Jonell Comerford, professor of mathematics and computer science, representing the COS; and John Willems, professor in the School of Business, representing the School of Continuing Education.
Angelica Bradley, a biological sciences major from Teutopolis, will serve as Honors College banner marshal during both ceremonies.
Additionally, Kathlene S. Shank, who was selected as EIU’s 2011 Luis Clay Mendez Distinguished Service Award recipient for her contributions to the university, the field of special education and the local community, will be formally recognized at Saturday’s 1 p.m. ceremony. Shank, who joined the special education faculty in 1970, has been instrumental in organizing the Area 9 Special Olympics. Every spring, she recruits and organizes more than 700 volunteers (faculty, staff and students) for the annual Special Olympics and every fall for the Special Olympics Family Fun Festival.
The award honors the memory of Mendez, an EIU professor in Spanish who died in 2003.