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Ceremonies recognizing the academic and personal accomplishments of Western Illinois University students and alumni will be held Friday-Saturday, Dec. 19-20 in Macomb during Western's Fall 2014 Commencement Weekend.
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WIU 2014 Fall Honors, Commencement Ceremonies Dec. 19-20

December 9, 2014


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MACOMB, IL – Ceremonies recognizing the academic and personal accomplishments of Western Illinois University students and alumni will be held Friday-Saturday, Dec. 19-20 in Macomb during Western's Fall 2014 Commencement Weekend.

At 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, the Academic Honors Convocation will be held in Western Hall. This ceremony recognizes college scholars, departmental scholars, honors scholars and candidates who have earned academic distinction throughout their Western Illinois University undergraduate careers. Students receive a medallion for each honor, which they wear at Saturday's Commencement ceremonies.

The number of students eligible to participate in Fall 2014 Commencement Ceremonies—scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20 in Western Hall—is 1,020, which includes nearly 790 undergraduate students, of which 98 students are in the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree program (formerly the Board of Trustees Bachelor of Arts degree program), as well as 230 master's-level graduate students and five students earning their doctorate degrees in educational leadership (Ed.D.). They are: Michael A. Amadei (Wayne, IL), Paul E. Hertel (Geneva, IL), David Michael Mouser (Downs, IL), Danielle Nicole Owens (Groveland, IL) and Craig Alan Smock (Morton, IL). The combined ceremonies will include presenting graduating seniors their diploma covers and hooding graduate-degree candidates.

Alumni Achievement awards will be presented to five individual honorees, including: Kristin L. Andress ('89 mass communications), CEO of Andress Consulting in Solana Beach, CA, and bestselling co-author of the book, "Imagine Being in a Life You Love"; Richard M. Beuke ('77 marketing), founding partner of Beuke and Beuke Attorneys at Law in Clarendon Hills, IL; Matthew A. Bills ('99 management), principal with Grippo & Elden LLC, Chicago, IL; Nick Padgett ('88 computer science), co-founder of Frontaura Capital LLC, Chicago; and Tom Stalf ('92 biological sciences), president and CEO of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. (Read more about the 2014 Alumni Achievement Award winners at http://bit.ly/WIUFall14AAA.)

Commencement Ceremonies

The 9:30 a.m. Commencement Ceremony will recognize graduate and undergraduate candidates in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business and Technology, as well as candidates in the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies and in Interdisciplinary Studies. Bills, Padgett and Stalf will receive their Alumni Achievement awards.

Marshals, who are graduating seniors selected from the top scholars earning high academic distinction, guide the graduating class, faculty and stage party from the processional to the recessional. They are: Elizabeth Davison (Rock Island, IL), liberal arts and sciences; Taylor A. Henning (Huntley, IL), accounting; Erin Elizabeth Hutchins (Avon, IL), accounting; Angelica Marie Jasper (Wheaton, IL), psychology; Kristina Renee Johnson (Carthage, IL), marketing; Ashley Luke (Oak Creek, WI), political science and journalism; Haley Ruth Patterson (Milledgeville, IL), biological sciences; and Sarah Lynn Schroeder (Belvidere, IL), biological sciences.

The 1 p.m. Commencement Ceremony will recognize the Doctorate in Educational Leadership candidates and graduate and undergraduate candidates in the College of Education and Human Services and the College of Fine Arts and Communication. Andress and Beuke will receive their Alumni Achievement awards.

Marshals are: Hayley Delia (Chicago, IL), communication; Mark J. Kletz (Bloomington, IL), music education; Linsey Rae Lundeen (Aledo, IL), art; James Allen Tyne Manus (Sterling, IL), law enforcement and justice administration; Elizabeth A. Peregrine (DeKalb, IL), music education; Ross B. Purchatzke (Dallas City, IL), physical education; Aaron A. Sikorski (Monmouth, IL), elementary education; and Ashley N. Wilson (Aurora, IL), special education.

International Flags

The flags of nine nations represented by the 2014 fall graduating class will be displayed in the arena. Sponsored by Western's Center for International Studies, the flags represent the following countries: Bangladesh, China, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Turkey and the United States. Western Illinois University was home to students from 58 countries during the Fall 2014 semester.

Gonfalons and Gonfaloniers

Gonfalons, which are banners hung from a crossbar on poles, made their inaugural appearance in the Fall 2009 Commencement ceremonies. Western Illinois University gonfalons represent the University overall, the School of Graduate Studies, as well as each of the four academic colleges: Arts and Sciences (white); Business and Technology (royal blue); Education and Human Services (UN blue); and Fine Arts and Communication (spice brown). Those who are chosen to carry the gonfalons are called "gonfaloniers." This honor has been awarded to the following faculty members by ceremony:

9:30 a.m. ceremony
Vincent Auger, professor of political science, College of Arts and Sciences; Katharine Pawelko, professor of recreation, park and tourism administration, College of Education and Human Services; Bhavneet Walia, assistant professor of economics and decision sciences, College of Business and Technology; and Redina Herman, associate professor of geography, College of Arts and Sciences.

1 p.m. ceremony
Vincent Auger, professor of political science, College of Arts and Sciences; Katharine Pawelko, professor of recreation, park and tourism administration, College of Education and Human Services; Ta-The Ku, assistant professor of art, College Fine Arts and Communication; and Mary Jensen, professor of curriculum and instruction, College of Education and Human Services.

Ceremony Protocol

Western Illinois University Provost and Academic Vice President Ken Hawkinson will lead the Commencement ceremonies and President Jack Thomas will confer degrees and deliver his address, "At Western, We Believe in Opening Doors," to the graduating classes. Members of Western's Board of Trustees and the Alumni Association will participate, and the Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, James Stegall, professor of music, will be recognized at each ceremony. The Western Illinois University Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Richard Hughey, will perform the music and Jason Adam Coppenbarger (Normal, IL), musical theatre, will sing the National Anthem at the 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. ceremonies.

Live Broadcast/Web Stream


Western's University Television (UTV) will broadcast the Academic Honors Convocation and each Commencement ceremony live on Macomb's cable channel 3. The Macomb ceremonies will also be streamed live on the web. A link to the web broadcast will be available from Western's homepage (wiu.edu) during the time of the ceremonies.

DVDs and Photos

DVDs of the ceremonies may be purchased through UTV, telephone (309) 298-1880. Photographs of each graduate will be taken as they receive their diploma covers. Proof sheets will be mailed from Western's Visual Production Center to each graduate, with instructions for ordering photos.

Open Ceremonies; ADA Requests

Ceremonies are open to family and friends of the graduates. Tickets are not required; seating is on a first come basis. Doors open 90 minutes before each ceremony. An interpreter will sign each ceremony and assistive listening devices will be available to the public at the information table in the north lobby of Western Hall. There are a limited number of disability seats, and individuals in need of special accommodations for the ceremonies should contact Western's Office of Equal Opportunity and Access at (309) 298-1977. Office hours are 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

For more information, visit wiu.edu/commencement.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations