University News

WIU Spring 2017 Commencement Weekend

May 8, 2017


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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 12-13 in Macomb and Sunday, May 14 in the Quad Cities during the 2017 Spring Commencement Weekend.

The number of students eligible to participate in Spring 2017 Commencement Ceremonies is 2,292, which includes 1,796 undergraduate students, of which 122 students are in the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree program (formerly the Board of Trustees Bachelor of Arts degree program); 401 are master's-level graduate students; and four students earning their doctorates in educational leadership (Ed.D.): R. Tad Everett (Sterling, IL); Thomas Mahoney (Oregon, IL); Patrick McDermott (Freeport, IL) and Michael Loftin (Beecher, IL).


Distinguished Alumni


Western Illinois University graduates Michael J. Litwin, who is retired from many executive positions in the commercial finance industry, and James A. Leopardo, owner of Leopardo Industries, one of the nation's largest contractors, will be awarded the WIU Distinguished Alumni Award during Commencement ceremonies. Litwin will be honored during the 9 a.m. ceremony Saturday, May 13, and Leopardo will be honored during the 1 p.m. ceremony. For more information about the distinguished alumni, visit bit.ly/2pwyWwa.

Macomb Honors, Commissioning and Commencement Ceremonies

Interim Provost and Academic Vice President Kathleen Neumann 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, "A Tradition of Tough," to the graduating class during the commencement ceremonies. WIU's Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, WIU Professor of Geography Christopher J. Sutton, will be recognized at each ceremony. The Western Illinois University Wind Ensemble, under the direction of WIU Professor of Music Mike Fansler, will play for the Macomb ceremonies.

Events scheduled for Friday, May 12 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) receive a medallion for each academic honor. President Thomas will deliver the remarks, "Continue on Your Pathways of Success." Graduating senior Brenna Catherine Smith (Evergreen Park, IL) is the Convocation speaker for the Macomb ceremony and will deliver her speech, "Western Gives You Wings." National Anthem singer: Madelyn Claire Lego (Columbus, IN), Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre, class of 2017. Marshals: Amanda Pankhurst (Amboy, IL); Madelyn Heinzer (Sugar Grove, IL); Madison Thielsen (Naperville, IL); Emma Goldman (Coralville, IA); Devin Johnson (Glenarden, MD) and Cora English (Bushnell, IL)

3:45 p.m. Army ROTC Commissioning, University Union Heritage Room

A total of 13 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: Andrew Gibb-Clark (Moline, IL), Master of Music, class of 2017. Marshals are: Miguel Aguado (Montgomery, IL), Jessy Cheung (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), Sarah Erkfitz (Greenfield, WI), Joellen Hatchett (Waterloo, IA), Afua Apefa Pedanou (Grand Prairie, TX) and Hayley Remmel (Appleton, WI).

Saturday, May 13 - Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies, 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, Physical Education K–12 and Special Education) will be recognized. National Anthem singer: Madelyn Claire Lego (Columbus, IN), Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre, class of 2017.

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: Gabriella Marie Dempsey (Fowler, IL); Thaddius Robert Goldner (Macomb); William J. Gradle (St. Charles, IL); Meghan Elizabeth Hoyle (Bushnell, IL); Luke Alan Otto (Normal, IL); Caitlin Marie Pennington (Kirksville, MO); Natalyn Nicole Rood (Amboy, IL) and Madeline Rose Zehnal (Aurora, IL).

During the 1 p.m. ceremony, the remainder of candidates in the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) departments (including Apparel and Textile Merchandising; Dietetics; Emergency Management; Family and Consumer Sciences; Fire Protection Services; Health Services Management; Hospitality Management; Law Enforcement and Justice Administration; Nutrition and Foodservice Management; Public Health; Recreation Park and Tourism Administration and Social Work) will be recognized. National Anthem singer: Jayla Williams-Craig (Rockford, IL) Bachelor of Arts, class of 2017. Marshals are: Nicholas D. Abele (Sterling, IL); Steven Acuff (Aurora, IL); Stellera English (Bushnell, IL); Courtney Ann Powelson (Macomb, IL); Amanda Dorothy Romaniak (Carol Stream, IL); Haley Joyce Smothers (Stronghurst, IL); Joshua E. Webb (Astoria, IL) and Cassandra Ann Tracy (Washington, 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: Benjamin A. Rogers (Savanna, IL), music education major. Marshals are: Emily Anne Banigan (Hinckley, IL); Rebecca Lynn Gonner (Dubuque, IA); Hannah Renee Knox (Sycamore, IL); Shavez D. Rosenthal (Kankakee, IL); Emily A. Szott (Orland Park, IL); Rebecca Tankson (Lakemoor, IL); Brianna Taylor (Mokena, IL) and Jared Thomas Wiemann (Hamilton, IL)

Sunday, May 14 Quad Cities – Honors and Combined Ceremonies, iWireless Center, Moline

Noon, WIU-QC Academic Honors Convocation

College, Honors and Departmental Scholars and students with academic distinction based on grade point average (GPA) receive a medallion for each academic honor. President Thomas will deliver the remarks, "Continue on Your Pathways of Success." Graduating senior Donna Rae Smith (Dixon, IL) is the is the convocation speaker for the WIU-QC ceremony and will deliver her speech, "Never Go it Alone."

1:30 p.m., WIU-QC Combined Graduate and Undergraduate Commencement

Interim Provost Kathleen Neumann will serve as master of ceremonies for each ceremony. Joe Rives, vice president for Quad Cities and planning, will provide a welcome, and greetings will be given by Cathy Early, chair of the Board of Trustees. President Jack Thomas will present remarks, "A Tradition of Tough" to the graduating class. National Anthem singer: Trista Trone (Canton, IL), Master of Science, class of 2017. Marshals are: Marissa Kletke (East Moline, IL); Cecelia Hernandez-Sandoval (Moline, IL); Gabrielle Baker (Blue Grass, IA); Travis Ohlsen (Moline, IL) and Emily Crapnell (Rock Island, 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: Michelle Bingheim (Quincy, IL), trumpet; Brittney McDaniel (Chicago), trumpet; Sabrina Alt (Rock Island, IL), trumpet; William Kjeldsen (Lombard, IL), horn; Abigail Dominis (Ottawa, IL), trombone and Crispin Fornoff (Springfield, IL), tuba.

Flags

The flags of 23 nations representing the Spring 2017 graduating class will be displayed on the stage. Sponsored by Western's Center for International Studies, the flags represent the following countries: the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Croatia, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Libya Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, the Phillipines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Montenegro, South Korea, Thailand, Togo, Turkey and the United States.

Western was home to students from 61 countries during the Spring 2017 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.

Friday, May 13
5:30 p.m. – Katharine Pawelko, professor of recreation, park and tourism administration, College of Education and Human Services (will carry the School of Graduate Studies gonfalon) and Professor of Biological Sciences Shawn Meagher (will carry the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) gonfalon.

Saturday, May 14
9 a.m. — Professor of Biological Sciences Shawn Meagher, College of Arts and Sciences (CAS);

Assistant Professor and Director of Journalism Yong Tang, College of Fine Arts and Communication;

Associate Professor of Business Law Ryan Hunt, College of Business and Technology and

Professor of Kinesiology Renee Polubinsky, College of Education and Human Services

1:30 p.m. – Professor of Biological Sciences Shawn Meagher, College of Arts and Sciences (CAS); and Professor of Kinesiology Renee Polubinsky, College of Education and Human Services

4:30 p.m. – Professor of Biological Sciences Shawn Meagher, College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and Assistant Professor of Geology Thomas Hegna, CAS.

WIU-QC, 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 14 (iWireless Center)

Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Kristi Mindrup, WIU gonfalon
Counselor Education Department Chair Holly J. Nikels, Graduate School
Associate Professor of Geography Ranbir S. Kang, College of Arts and Sciences
Assistant Professor of Engineering Il-Seop Shin, College of Business and Technology
Assistant Professor of Counselor Education Tiffany D. Stoner-Harris, College of Education and Human Services
Assistant Professor of Communication L. Brendan Young, 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 and Quad Cities ceremonies will also be streamed live on the web and the University's Facebook page. 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
WIU-Macomb


Ceremonies are open to family and friends of the graduates. Tickets are not required; seating is on a first come basis and graduates are requested to try and keep guests to five or fewer. 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.


Visit wiu.edu/commencement for more information.

WIU-QC

Individuals needing special accommodations for the Quad Cities ceremony should contact Audrey Adamson at WIU-Quad cities at ((309) 762-9481 or via email at ANW-Adamson@wiu.edu. Office hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. Additional information about the WIU-QC Commencement ceremony is available at wiu.edu/qc/commencement/index.php.



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