University News

WIU Commencement Weekend; May 14 in Quad Cities

May 2, 2006

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MACOMB, IL - - Ceremonies recognizing the academic and personal accomplishments of Western Illinois University students and alumni will be held Friday and Saturday, May 12-13 in Macomb and Sunday, May 14 in the Quad Cities during WesternÂ’s Spring 2006 Commencement weekend.

Events scheduled for Friday, May 12 include:
2 p.m. Academic Honors Convocation in Western Hall;
4 p.m. military science department Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Commissioning in the University Union Heritage Room; and
5:30 p.m. Graduate Commencement Exercises and Hooding Ceremony in Western Hall.

More than 2,300 students who have applied for graduation in Spring and Summer 2006 are eligible to participate in the weekend ceremonies. This includes more than 1,900 undergraduate students and more than 420 graduate students who are eligible to be recognized.

Three Commencement ceremonies will be held Saturday, May 13 in Western Hall for undergraduate students.

Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented in the 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. ceremonies; and Western's highest honor, the honorary doctorate, will be presented at the 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. ceremonies. The top eight graduating students in their respective colleges, 24 students in all, will serve as marshals at the ceremonies.

The 9:30 a.m. ceremony will recognize candidates for graduation in the College of Business and Technology, the Board of Trustees Bachelor of Arts (BOT/BA) degree program and the Individual Studies program. A Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to Lorraine Barnhart Epperson, classes of 1948 and 1952, a real estate broker and owner of Century 21-Purdum-Epperson, Inc. in Macomb. She is a former University trustee, a past member of the WIU Alumni Council and the WIU Foundation Board of Directors, and she received the Western Illinois University College of Business and TechnologyÂ’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

An Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters will be awarded to Dr. Russell Dohner, a Rushville (IL) physician for more than 51 years, who was a member of the first pre-med group at Western Illinois University after World War II. Dohner, a 1982 recipient of WesternÂ’s Alumni Achievement Award, was proclaimed the 1992 winner of the Pfizer Quality Care Award by Illinois Gov. George Ryan and was second runner-up in 2004 for the National Country Doctor of the Year Award. He was named a 2005 Illinois Country Doctor of the Year.

Marshals for the 9:30 a.m. ceremony include the following: Jeremy Alexander (Hamilton, IL), finance; Lindsay Froschauer (Lincoln, IL), marketing; Adam Leonard (Roseville, IL), finance; Lucas Macklin (Dixon, IL), accountancy; Christopher Relander (Aledo, IL), manufacturing engineering technology; Paula Schulte (Keokuk, IA), management; Molly Yoeckel (Moline, IL), interdisciplinary studies; and Erin Zawiski (Naperville, IL), management.

The 1 p.m. ceremony will recognize candidates for graduation in the College of Education and Human Services. A Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to Larry Mortier, who served as vice president for advancement and public services at Western from August 1994 until his retirement in August 2005. He had served as executive director for the WIU Foundation since 1987, and he served as the UniversityÂ’s chief development officer during the Centennial Campaign for Western (1995-2000), which generated $24.8 million in private gift support. Before joining the development staff in 1986, Mortier was associate director of admissions for community college relations (1983-1984) and was a member of WesternÂ’s football coaching staff as assistant (1975-1976) and as assistant head coach (1979 to 1983). He earned his bachelorÂ’s and masterÂ’s degrees in education at Western (1970, 1971) and his doctorate in educational administration from Southern Illinois University (1995).

Marshals for the 1 p.m. ceremony include the following: Amy Coplan (Macomb, IL), recreation, park and tourism administration; Brad Elliott (Herscher, IL), elementary education; Evelyn Marshall (Quincy, IL), kinesiology; Megan Morrison (Joy, IL), community health; Darcy Pavlik (Palos Heights, IL), law enforcement and justice administration; Cathy Rigg (Industry, IL), social work; Kristin Roelle (Macomb, IL), kinesiology; and James Trezzo (Palos Heights, IL), law enforcement and justice administration.

The 4 p.m. ceremony will recognize candidates for graduation in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Fine Arts and Communication. Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters will be presented to Dr. Carmelita B. Teeter and to Norman C. Teeter, who earned a bachelorÂ’s degree in psychology from Western in a 1967. The Teeters, of Memphis, TN, have established multiple drug and alcohol abuse clinics in Tennessee and Kentucky that assist recovering addicts. Over the years they have provided monetary support for graduate assistantships for international students, graduate research programs and have contributed to upgrading equipment in WesternÂ’s psychology department.

Marshals for the 4 p.m. ceremony include the following: Claire Sharples Brooks (Normal, IL), Spanish; Steven Catania (Naperville, IL), history; Eric Cathelyn (Geneseo, IL), mathematics; Erin DeBlass (Alton, IL), English; Adam Mayer (Smithshire, IL), history and political science; Christopher Simmons (Macomb, IL), meteorology; Trista Willing (Kilbourne, IL), communication sciences and disorders; and Emily Winchip (Bettendorf, IA), music.

The third annual combined Graduate/Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony for Quad Cities-area students will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 14 at The MARK of the Quad Cities in Moline.

Western Illinois Provost and Academic Vice President Joseph Rallo will lead each Commencement ceremony, and President Al Goldfarb will confer degrees and make remarks to the graduating classes. Members of WesternÂ’s Board of Trustees also will participate in, and 2006 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Christopher Merrett of WesternÂ’s Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs will be recognized in each Commencement Weekend ceremony.

Members of WesternÂ’s music department will provide the musical prelude, processional and recessional at each commencement ceremony. College of Fine Arts and Communication Dean Paul Kreider, an operatic baritone, will sing the National Anthem at each ceremony. The Western Illinois University Concert Band, conducted by Douglas Phillips, will play at each Macomb commencement ceremony. A Student Brass Quintet will play at the Quad Cities ceremony. Quintet members include Matt Shefcik (graduate student, Chicago) and Andrew Hunter (senior, Charleston, IL) on trumpet; John Reem (junior, Macomb, IL) on horn; Dan Tripp (junior, Sandwich, IL) on trombone; and David Rappenecker (junior, Burlington, IA) on tuba.

WesternÂ’s University Television (UTV) will broadcast the Academic Honors Convocation and all Commencement ceremonies live on MacombÂ’s cable Channel 3. The ceremonies will also be streamed live on the web. A link to the web broadcast will be available from WesternÂ’s homepage at during the time of the ceremonies.

DVDs and tapes of the ceremonies may be purchased through UTV, telephone 309/298-1880.

Ceremonies are open to family and friends of the graduates. Tickets are not required; seating is on a first-come basis. A sign interpreter will sign each ceremony. Individuals needing special accommodations should contact WesternÂ’s Affirmative Action/ADA Compliance Office, telephone 309/298-1977. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Commencement Information
Distinguished Alumni News Release
Honorary Doctorate News Release

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