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WIU Spring 2019 Commencement Weekend

May 8, 2019


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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 10-11 in Macomb and Sunday, May 12 in the Quad Cities during the 2019 Spring Commencement Weekend.

The number of students eligible to participate in Spring 2019 Commencement Ceremonies is 2,072, which includes 1,489 undergraduate students, of which 117 students are in the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree program (formerly the Board of Trustees Bachelor of Arts degree program); 457 are master's-level graduate students; and nine students are earning their doctorates in educational leadership (Ed.D.): Nicole T. Briatta (Pleasant Prairie, WI); Alfonso Carmona (Northbrook, IL); Sheila Coussens-Martin (Pekin, IL); Christina C. Dougherty (Ottawa, IL); Clinton M. Iadanza (Macomb, IL); Sebastian Pawel Kapala (Huntley, IL); Jeffrey A. McHugh (Barrington, IL); Brian Kelly O'Keefe (Plainfield, IL) and Margaret Kay Segersten (McHenry, IL).

Graduates and guests are encouraged to use the hashtag #WIUGrad​19​ to share their graduation photos and posts on social media.

Ceremony Live Streams


The ceremonies will be available via livestream on WIU's YouTube and WIU's Facebook page.

Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters - 9 a.m.

Samuel N. Oliva
, a 1977 WIU College of Business Accounting graduate, received the 1988 WIU Department of Accountancy Outstanding Alumni Award, the 1989 WIU Alumni Achievement Award and the 2003 WIU College of Business and Technology Distinguished Alumnus Award. Oliva started his career in 1978 at a small two-person accounting firm as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and has been the managing partner at ECS Financial Services for over 40 years. Oliva is also the founder, and has been the CEO of Beacon Funding Corporation, an equipment leasing company, since 1990. In addition to serving as CEO for both ECS Financial Services and Beacon Funding Corporation, Oliva founded and has been the CEO for Liventus Inc., an IT consultancy firm, since 2002. Today, Oliva's combined companies employ over 250 employees. For more information about Oliva, visit bit.ly/2PA4WuU.

Distinguished Alumni - 1 p.m.

Stephen C. Mills
, a 1971 recreation and park administration (currently recreation, park and tourism administration) graduate, is chief executive officer of Bear Development LLC, Bear Realty and Bear Commercial, LLC. He has nearly 40 years of experience as a real estate consultant and entrepreneur, specializing in real estate consulting, brokerage and development, as well as in advising clients in real estate-related matters. He has been involved in all aspects of the real estate business as a buyer, seller, broker, investor and financier. Along with partners and stockholders, and in addition to his real estate activities, he owns and operates companies in the fields of construction and property management. Mills previously served as director of Southport Financial Corporation and as director of Southport Bank. He was a managing member of Construction Management Associates (CMA) and serves as a construction manager and general contractor. He holds the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation as a recognized expert in the commercial and investment real estate industry. As a Certified Commercial Investment Member of the National Association of Realtors, he has demonstrated expertise in real estate investment analysis, taxation and property investment. While at WIU, Mills played football for the Fighting Leathernecks and remains actively involved with his alma mater, WIU Athletics, the football program and the WIU Alumni Association. Most recently, he made a significant gift and commitment in support of athletics facilities improvements and the football facilities project.

Caren L. Stutz, a 1978 graduate, is the former chief operating officer and executive vice president for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. She has more than four decades of experience in the restaurant industry and is credited as a strategic leader specializing in driving operational excellence, building great teams and creating shareholder value, along with extensive franchise and international experience. She is passionate about mentoring and teaching financial literacy. Prior to Red Robin, she served as president of McAlister's Corporation at FOCUS Brands Inc. In 2012, she was named the CEO and president of Cosi, Inc. and served as a member of Cosi's Board of Directors from 2012-13. Previously, she served for three years as the president and COO of global business development for Brinker International, where she led franchise development and operations for Chili's and Maggiano's restaurants worldwide; spent eight years as an executive vice president of operations for Applebee's International; five years as central and pacific division vice president for Wendy's International; served as regional operations vice president for Sodexo, U.S.A.; and was vice president of corporate operations for NutriSystem, Inc. Stutz was the past board chair and member of the board of directors of the Women's Foodservice Forum, an organization in the food service industry dedicated to developing gender-diverse leadership talent.

Macomb Honors, Commissioning and Commencement Ceremonies


Interim Provost William Clow will serve as master of ceremonies for each ceremony. Greetings will be given by Jackie Thompson, secretary of the Board of Trustees, and President Jack Thomas will present remarks to the graduating class during the commencement ceremonies. WIU's Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, WIU Interim Chair of the WIU Department of Physics Kishor T. Kapale, will be recognized at each ceremony. The Western Illinois University Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of WIU Associate Professor of Music Richard Hughey, will play for the Macomb ceremonies.


Events scheduled for Friday, May 10 include:

• 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 remarks. Graduating senior Logan Z. Peter (Liberty, IL) is the Convocation speaker for the Macomb ceremony and will deliver his speech, "What is Your Success?" National Anthem singer: Leonel Andres Villarreal (West Liberty, IA), Bachelor of Music, class of 2019. Marshals: Eriyan Brown (South Holland, IL); Mariah Dicksen (Lockport, IL); Michelle Hall (Burlington, IA); Brandon Kmetz (Wonder Lake, IL); Leah Murphy (Elgin, IL); and Randolph Turkington (Aurora, IL).

• 3:45 p.m. Army ROTC Commissioning, University Union Brattain Lounge

A total of four 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: Alison Huntley (New Lenox, IL), Master of Music, class of 2019.


Saturday, May 11 - 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/English as a Second Language Education, Elementary Education, Exercise Science, Dietetics, Family and Consumer Sciences, Middle Level Education, Nutrition and Food Service Management, Physical Education K–12 and Special Education) will be recognized. National Anthem singer: Nissi Shalome Smith (South Holland, IL), Bachelor of Fine Arts, class of 2019.

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: Alisa Davis (Macomb, IL); Rachel Lynn Henderson (Canton, IL); Dalton Charles Humphrey (Eaton Rapids, MI); Ashley Kay Lefringhouse (Liberty, IL); Nichole Lynn Miller (Carlinville, IL); Kenneth W. Mitchell, Jr. (Liberty, IL); Michael Alan Simmons (Ewing, MO) and Ashley Lynn Wadsworth (Bunker Hill, IL).

During the 1 p.m. ceremony, the remainder of candidates in the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) departments (including Emergency Management; Fire Protection Services; Health Services Management; Hospitality Management; Law Enforcement and Justice Administration; Public Health; Recreation Park and Tourism Administration and Social Work) will be recognized. National Anthem singer: Annie Elizabeth Etchison (Dixon, IL) Bachelor of Fine Arts, class of 2019. Marshals are: Nicholas M. Aftanas (Romeoville, IL); Gabrielle Bandovich (Roselle, IL); Nancy Davila (Grayslake, IL); Jessica Elaine Dickinson (Canton, IL); Mackenzie Leah Martin (Andover, IL); Samantha Marie Vrtis-Bentz (Grayslake, IL); Jeffrey M. Waisganis (Mount Prospect, IL) and Crystal Grace Wilson (Palatine, 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: Leonel Andres Villarreal (West Liberty, IA), Bachelor of Music, class of 2019. Marshals are: Shea Theresa Fili (London Mills, IL); Victoria Gregory (Sandwich, IL); Caitlen Hahn (Rock Island, IL); Benjamin Kolaczkowski (Plainfield, IL); Joseph Quinn (Washington, IL); Killian Lee Tracey (Geneva, IL); Nicole Walker (Grayslake, IL) and Nasser Zbeeb (Moline, IL).


Sunday, May 12 Quad Cities – Honors and Combined Ceremonies, TaxSlayer Center, Moline, IL

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 remarks. Graduating senior Adam Jay Norris (Bettendorf, IL) is the convocation speaker for the WIU-QC ceremony and will deliver his speech, "The Difference Between Reading Your Life and Writing It."

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

Interim Provost William Clow will serve as master of ceremonies for each ceremony. Joe Rives, senior vice president for Strategic Planning and Initiatives, will provide a welcome, and greetings will be given by Greg Aguilar, chair of the WIU Board of Trustees. President Thomas will present remarks to the graduating class. National Anthem singer: Leonel Andres Villarreal (West Liberty, IA), Bachelor of Music, class of 2019. Marshals are: Lindsey Bideaux (Geneseo, IL); Marissa Kletke (East Moline, IL); Priscilla Porter (Moline, IL) and Nataleigh Richardson (Canton, IL).

The Western Illinois University Brass Ensemble will play for the WIU-QC ceremony.

Flags

The flags of 28 nations representing the Spring 2019 graduating class will be displayed in the arena. Sponsored by Western's Center for International Studies, the flags represent the following countries: Albania, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Canada, China, France, Georgia, Germany, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Mali, Nepal, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, the United States of America, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Western was home to students from 58 countries during the Spring 2019 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:

• 9 a.m. – Ute Chamberlin, associate professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences; Penelope Shumate, assistant professor of music in the College of Fine Arts and Communication; Jason Franken, associate professor of agriculture in the College of Business and Technology; and Gloria Delany-Barmann, professor of educational Studies in the College of Education and Human Services.

• 1 p.m. – Chamberlin and Gloria Delany-Barmann, professor of educational Studies in the College of Education and Human Services.

• 4:30 p.m. – Chamberlin and Casey LaFrance, associate professor of political science in the College of Arts and Sciences.

WIU-QC, 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 12 (TaxSlayer Center)

Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences James Rabchuk, WIU gonfalon
Counselor Education Department Chair Holly J. Nikels, Graduate School
Psychology Instructor Ryan Colclasure, College of Arts and Sciences
Associate Professor of Engineering at WIU-QC Il-Seop Shin, College of Business and Technology
Assistant Professor of Counselor Education Erin Lane, College of Education and Human Services
Director of Museum Studies at WIU-QC Pam White, 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