University News

WIU Spring Commencement Weekend: May 9-10 in Macomb; May 11 in Moline; Distinguished Alumni Award to Samuel Oliva

May 2, 2008

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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 9-10 in Macomb and Sunday, May 11 in the Quad Cities during Western's Spring 2008 Commencement Weekend.

Some 1,950 students - - including more than 1,525 undergraduate and approximately 420 graduate students who have applied for graduation - - are eligible to participate in the Spring 2008 ceremonies. Events scheduled for Friday, May 9 include the following:
2 p.m. Academic Honors Convocation in Western Hall; the
4 p.m. military science department Army ROTC Commissioning in the University Union Heritage Room; and the
5:30 p.m. Graduate Hooding and Commencement Ceremony in Western Hall.

Three Commencement ceremonies will be held Saturday, May 10 in Western Hall for undergraduate students.

The 9:30 a.m. ceremony will recognize candidates for graduation in the College of Business and Technology (CBT) and the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC). A Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to Samuel Oliva (BB, Accountancy), who is a certified public accountant and managing partner of ECS Financial Services, Inc. (formerly Edwin C. Siegel, Ltd.). A 1989 WIU Alumni Achievement Award recipient and a 2003 WIU College of Business and Technology Distinguished Alumnus, Oliva is also the founder and CEO of the Beacon Funding Corporation in Northbrook (IL). He has served as a managing broker for Cornerstone Realty in Northbrook for 30 years and is the president of Liventus Design, and e-commerce website development and consulting firm. Oliva is also a charter member of the President's National Advisory Board at Western and a member of the Western's CBT Advisory Board.

COFAC graduating senior music vocal performance major Bethany Worrel of Macomb will sing the National Anthem, accompanied by Western's Symphonic Wind Ensemble, conducted by Director of Bands Mike Fansler.

Marshals, who are graduating seniors selected from the top scholars in the academic disciplines, for the 9:30 a.m. ceremony include the following:

Aaron Becker (West Chicago, 60185), an accountancy major and religious studies minor; Aubrey Dunham (Odell, IL 60460), a music vocal performance major; Shannon Durward (Thomson, IL 61285), a supply chain management major and finance minor); Jana Luttenegger (Burlington, IA), a economics major; Jeffrey Padgett (Dixon, IL 61021); a music instrumental performance major; Elizabeth Rapp (Lincoln, NE), a marketing major and Spanish minor; Douglas Reiling (Coal Valley, IL 61240), an accountancy major and finance minor; and Shayla Troutman (Lomax IL 61454), a graphic communication major with minors in marketing and management.

The 1 p.m. ceremony will recognize candidates for graduation in the Board of Trustees – Bachelor of Arts degree program, the Interdisciplinary Studies Program and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Marshals for the 1 p.m. ceremony include:

Alicia Atkins (Naperville, IL 60565), a psychology major and zoology minor; Allison Campbell (O'Fallon, IL 62269), a biology/zoology major with minors in German and kinesiology; Sarah Cane (Quincy, IL 62301), a mathematics major and Spanish minor; Sarah Cash (Pekin, IL 61554), an English major with minors in journalism and music; Courtney Clippert (Keokuk, IA), a psychology major with a minor in sociology; Melissa Jay (Ottumwa, IA), a biology/microbiology major with a minor in chemistry; Kateah McMasters (Monticello, IL 61856), a political science major with a Spanish and pre-law Honors minor; and Julia Remes (Saint Paul, MN), a political science major with a pre-law Honors minor.

The 4 p.m. ceremony will recognize candidates for graduation in the College of Education and Human Services.

Marshals for the 4 p.m. ceremony include:

Katherine Bogner (Sparland, IL 61565), an elementary education major; Barbara Cordes (Batavia, IL 60510), a family and consumer sciences – dietetics major; Zachary Haggerty (Hanover, IL), a law enforcement and justice administration major with a security administration minor; Maria Montoya (Elmwood, IL 61529), a kinesiology-exercise science and fitness major with a minor in nutrition; Amber Prins (Thomson, IL 61285), a family and consumer science – dietetics major; Daniel Ralphson (Palos Heights, IL 60463), a law enforcement and justice administration major with minors in public administration and computer science; Snezana Todorovic (Moline, IL 61265), a social work major; and Dana Wright (Milan, IL 61264), a bilingual/bicultural education major.

The fifth annual combined Graduate/Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony for Quad Cities-area students will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 11 at i wireless Center (formerly The MARK of the Quad Cities) in Moline.

Western Illinois Provost and Academic Vice President Jack Thomas will lead each Commencement ceremony, and President Al Goldfarb will confer degrees and make remarks to the graduating classes. Members of Western's Board of Trustees also will participate, and 2008 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Michael Romano, professor of biology and curator of reptiles and amphibians, will be recognized in each Commencement ceremony.

College of Fine Arts and Communication Dean Paul Kreider will sing the National Anthem at the graduate ceremony on May 9, the 1 and 4 p.m. May 10 Macomb ceremonies and at the May 11 Quad Cities ceremony. The Western Illinois University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Fansler, will play at each Macomb ceremony. A Student Brass Quintet will play at the Quad Cities ceremony. Quintet members include senior graduate student Ashley Crosby (Lakeland, FL), trombone; graduate student Justin Davis (Kincaid, IL), horn; graduate student Michael Scheck (Charles Town, WV), trumpet; freshman Nathan Doggett (Shorewood, IL), tuba; and sophomore Ryan Mills (Keokuk, IA), trumpet.

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 during the time of the ceremonies.

DVDs and tapes of the Macomb and Quad Cities ceremonies may be purchased through UTV, telephone 309/298-1880. Photographs of each graduate will also be taken and may be purchased through the Visual Production Center, 309/298-1358.

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 Western's Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, telephone 309/298-1977. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

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