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Ceremonies recognizing the academic and personal accomplishments of Western Illinois University students and alumni will be held Friday-Saturday, May 15-16 in Macomb and Sunday, May 17 in the Quad Cities during Western Illinois' 2015 Spring Commencement Weekend.
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WIU Spring 2015 Commencement Weekend May 15-17

May 4, 2015


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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL — Ceremonies recognizing the academic and personal accomplishments of Western Illinois University students and alumni will be held Friday-Saturday, May 15-16 in Macomb and Sunday, May 17 in the Quad Cities during Western Illinois' 2015 Spring Commencement Weekend.

The number of students eligible to participate in Spring 2015 Commencement Ceremonies is 2,180, which includes 1,775 undergraduate students, of which 115 students are in the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree program (formerly the Board of Trustees Bachelor of Arts degree program); 403 master's-level graduate students; and two students earning their doctorate degrees in educational leadership (Ed.D.), Daniel L. Oakley (Minonk, IL) and John David Ulferts (Rockford, IL).

Doctor of Humane Letters Recipient

WIU alumnus Hyuk-Jong Kim, president of Gwangju University in Korea, will receive the Western Illinois University Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at Western's 9 a.m. Spring 2015 Commencement Ceremony Saturday, May 16.

The Honorary Doctorate is the highest award Western Illinois University can bestow upon an individual who has made significant contributions to his/her career and to Western Illinois University. Kim's father, Gwangju University's founder, In-Kon Kim, received an honorary doctorate from WIU in 1983.

Kim received his master's in education from Western in 1987. He has served as president of Gwangju University since May 2003. Kim joined the Gwangju faculty in 1987, teaching in the department of education. He was named director of Gwangju University Office of Planning in March 1994, a position he held, in addition to teaching education classes, until April 2003. He serves as a board member of the Korean University Education Association; as chair of the Gwangju-Jeonnam University Presidents Association; as a board member of the Daedong Cultural Foundation; and a member of the promotion committee for the Gwangju World Women's Forum for Peace. He has served as an adviser to the Presidential Committee on Balanced National Development and to the Council for the Promotion of the 2012 World Expo to the Provincial Area.

Distinguished Alumni

The outstanding accomplishments of Western Illinois University graduates Stephen P. Larson, former vice president of Caterpillar, Inc., and Ed Ohlin, president of H-BR Automotive Consulting, will be recognized Saturday, May 16 at Western's Spring 2015 Commencement Exercises. Larson will be recognized at the 9 a.m. ceremony, and Ohlin will be recognized at the 1 p.m. ceremony. (See www.wiu.edu/news/newsrelease.php?release_id=12491 for more information about Larson and Ohlin.)

Macomb Honors, Commissioning and Commencement Ceremonies

Provost Ken Hawkinson will serve as master of ceremonies for each ceremony. Greetings will be given by Cathy Early, chair of the Board of Trustees, and President Jack Thomas will present remarks, "Now is the Time!" to the graduating class during the commencement ceremonies.

WIU's 2015 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, Western Illinois University Professor of Journalism and Public Relations Mohammad Ahmadullah Siddiqi, will be recognized at each ceremony. The Western Illinois University Concert Band, under the direction of Matt Thomas, will play for the Macomb ceremonies.

Events scheduled for Friday, May 15 include the following:
2 p.m. Academic Honors Convocation, Western Hall
College, Honors and Departmental Scholars and students with academic distinction based on grade point average (GPA) will receive a medallion for each academic honor. Graduating senior Shealyn Annabelle Ashby (Pekin, IL) is the Convocation speaker for the Macomb ceremony and will deliver her speech, "Stay Hopeful, Stay Humble." President Thomas will deliver the remarks, "What Are You Going to Do With What You Learned at Western?" to the graduating class. National Anthem singer: Sarah Katherine Randall (White Hall, IL), Bachelor of Fine Arts, Class of 2015. Marshals are: Haley Calvert (Sciota, IL), Justin Kim (Deerfield, IL), Kayleigh Marcotte (Springfield, IL), Brock Merritt (Eureka, IL), Steven Olson (Moline, IL) and Jessica Soltys (Woodstock, IL).

3:45 p.m. Army ROTC Commissioning, University Union Heritage Room
Twenty-one Army ROTC cadets who have completed requirements will be commissioned to active or reserve duty as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.

5:30 p.m. Graduate Hooding and Commencement Ceremony, Western Hall.
National Anthem singer: Alexander Scott Watson (Bettendorf, IA), Bachelor of Fine Arts, Class of 2015. Marshals are: John Contreras, Jr. (Chicago, IL), Leslie Ducay (Covington, WA), Graciela Horta (Elgin, IL), Caleb Maddox (Galion, OH), Brett Moody (Taylorville, IL) and Brittany Royce (Rockford, IL).

Saturday, May 16 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies in Western Hall

To find the list of majors by college, go to wiu.edu/commencement/majors.php.

During the 9 a.m. ceremony, candidates in the College of Business and Technology (CBT), College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) and several College of Education and Human Services' departments (including: Athletic Training, Bilingual/Bicultural Education, Elementary Education, Exercise Science, Media and Instructional Technology, Physical Education K–12 and Special Education) will be recognized. National Anthem singer: Ashton Driscoll (Coal Valley, IL), Bachelor of Music, Class of 2015.

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. Marshals are: Michael Erickson Aitchison (Iowa City, IA), Shealyn Annabelle Ashby (Pekin, IL), Ian Andrew Cameron (Altona, IL), Joseph Anthony Goetz (Carthage, IL), Katy Ann Hattula (Freeport, IL), Cally L. Keefauver (Astoria, IL), Faith Ann Lois (Burlington, WI) and Samuel H. Webb (Astoria, IL).

During the 1 p.m. ceremony, the remainder of candidates in the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) departments (including Emergency Management; Family and Consumer Sciences; Fire Protection Services; Health Services Management; Law Enforcement and Justice Administration; Public Health; Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration; and Social Work) will be recognized. National Anthem singer: Alexander Scott Watson (Bettendorf, IA), Bachelor of Fine Arts 2015. Marshals are: Lindsey Leanne Beighle (Atkinson, IL), Abigail Nicole Burnham (Jacksonville, IL), Hannah Marie Cecil (Maquon, IL), Lindsay Nicole Condon (Plainfield, IL), Michelle M. Lawson (Chillicothe, IL), William C. Russ (Chicago, IL), Ashley Kay Sell (Byron, IL) and Myrna Renee Whitley (Quincy, IL).

During the 4:30 p.m. ceremony, candidates in the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies (BGS) degree program, the Interdisciplinary Studies Program and the College of Arts and Sciences will be recognized. National Anthem singer: Jordan Lynn Wofford (Saint Peters, MO), Bachelor of Fine Arts, Class of 2015. Marshals are: Damon Page (Macomb, IL), Ryanzo W. Perez (Macomb, IL), Megan D. Richardson (Chandlerville, IL), Mitchell James Riley (East Moline, IL), Emma Shaw (Lomax, IL), Jacob Tyler Vancil (Bushnell, IL), Sarah R. Wilcer (Lombard, IL) and Jacob Douglas Wooldridge (Rushville, IL).

Sunday, May 17 Quad Cities – Honors and Combined Ceremonies, The RiverCenter, Davenport, IA

WIU-QC Academic Honors Convocation
Noon: College, Honors and Departmental Scholars and students with academic distinction based on grade point average (GPA) will receive a medallion for each academic honor. Graduating senior Wendy Orman (Le Claire, IA) is the convocation speaker for the WIU-QC ceremony and will deliver her speech, "Life Support." President Thomas will deliver the remarks, "What Are You Going to Do With What You Learned at Western?" to the graduating class.

WIU-QC Combined Graduate and Undergraduate Commencement
1 p.m.: Provost Ken Hawkinson will serve as master of ceremonies for each ceremony. Greetings will be given by Cathy Early, chair of the Board of Trustees, and President Jack Thomas will present remarks, "Now is the Time!" to the graduating class. Marshals are: Claire Chouinard (Moline, IL), Amber Dicosola (Lombard, IL), Michael Levis (Davenport, IA), and Diana Montelongo (Moline, IL).

The Western Illinois University Brass Ensemble, under the direction of School of Music Professor Randall Faust, will play for the WIU-QC ceremonies. Members include: Seth Brown (Pontiac, IL), Allison Smith (Roseville, IL), Brittney McDaniel (Chicago, IL), Tyler Davis (Oswego, IL), Alexander Adams (Macomb, IL) and Darin McDonald (Quincy, IL).

Flags

The flags of 24 nations representing the Spring 2015 graduating class will be displayed on the stage. Sponsored by Western's Center for International Studies, the flags represent the following countries: Antigua, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Iran, Jamaica, Japan, Kosovo, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sudan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the United States.

Western was home to students from 57 countries during the Spring 2015 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 are for the School of Graduate Studies, as well as for 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 faculty members listed below.

At WIU-Macomb
The WIU gonfalon will be carried at each ceremony by Vincent Auger, professor, political science, College of Arts and Sciences.

Friday, May 15
5:30 p.m.
Katharine A. Pawelko, professor of recreation, park and tourism administration (RPTA), WIU School of Graduate Studies gonfalon

Saturday, May 16
9 a.m.
Ta-Teh Ku, assistant professor, art, College of Fine Arts and Communication; Rajeev Sawhney, professor, management, College of Business and Technology; and Mary Jensen, professor, curriculum and instruction, College of Education and Human Services

1 p.m.Mary Jensen, professor, curriculum and instruction, College of Education and Human Services

4:30 p.m.Redina Herman, associate professor, geography, College of Arts and Sciences

At WIU-QC, 1 p.m. Sunday, May 17
Kristi Mindrup, assistant vice president, WIU-QC Quad Cities and Planning
Scott Brouette, assistant director student services, School of Graduate Studies
James Rabchuk, assistant dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Ann Walsh, professor, management and marketing, College of Business and Technology
Debbie Lee, associate professor, curriculum and instruction, College of Education and Human Services
Brendan Young, assistant professor, WIU-QC Fine Arts and Communication, College of Fine Arts and Communication

Live Broadcast/Web Stream

Western's University Television (UTV) will broadcast the Academic Honors Convocation and all Macomb Commencement ceremonies 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 at wiu.edu during the time of the ceremonies.

DVDs and Photos

DVDs of the Macomb and Quad Cities ceremonies may be purchased through UTV at (309) 298-1880. Photographs of each graduate will be taken as they receive their diploma cover. 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; however, graduates on Saturday are asked to limit guests to five or fewer, if possible. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve 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. 



Individuals needing special accommodations for the Quad Cities ceremony should contact Chris Brown at WIU-Quad Cities at (309) 762-9481, ext. 62287, or email MC-Brown2@wiu.edu. Office hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.

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