University News

WIU 2010 Fall Honors, Commencement Ceremonies Dec. 17-18

December 8, 2010

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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, Dec. 17-18 in Macomb during Western's Fall 2010 Commencement Weekend. All ceremonies are in Western Hall.

The Academic Honors Convocation is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17. This ceremony recognizes College Scholars, Departmental Scholars, Honors Scholars and candidates who have earned academic distinction throughout their Western Illinois undergraduate career. Students receive a medallion for each honor, which they wear at Saturday's Commencement ceremonies.

Nearly 1,300 students – which include some 900 undergraduate students, of which some 100 students are in the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree program (formerly Board of Trustees Bachelor of Arts degree program), and approximately 300 master's-level graduate students who have applied for graduation in Fall 2010 – are eligible to participate in Commencement Ceremonies scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18. The combined ceremonies will include presenting graduating seniors their diploma covers and hooding graduate degree candidates.

Alumni Achievement awards will be presented to three individual honorees – John W. Gay II, president of John Gay & Associates of Aurora, CO; Jerilyn K. Scardina of Burr Ridge (IL), retired physical education teacher and head girls tennis coach, Hinsdale Central High School; and Harlan L. Watson of Cabin John, MD, distinguished professional staff member, U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, Washington, D.C. Another alumnus – Datuk Kamaruddin ("Dean") Mohd Ismail, business development director and senior lecturer in security management at Saito College, Malaysia – will receive the International Alumni Achievement Award. The Alumni Achievement and the International Alumni Achievement awards are given in recognition of outstanding contributions to any of the following: exceptional accomplishment in one's chosen field of endeavor; service in community affairs at the local, state or national levels; and service in support of the advancement and continued excellence of WIU. (See Dec. 2 news release – – for biographic information on the alumni.)

An Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters will be presented to John D. Welty (BSE '66, social studies), president of California State University, Fresno, since July 1991, and a professor in the Kremen School of Education and Development. Since he was unable to attend the May 2010 Commencement ceremonies to receive the Honorary Doctorate, Welty has rescheduled for this Commencement weekend. (See the April 19, 2010 news release.)

• The 9:30 a.m. Commencement ceremony will recognize undergraduate and graduate candidates for graduation in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business and Technology, as well as undergraduate candidates in the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies. Watson will receive the Alumni Achievement Award and Kamaruddin will receive the International Alumni Achievement Award.

Marshals, who are graduating seniors selected from the top scholars earning high honors in their academic disciplines, guide the graduating class, faculty and stage party from the processional to the recessional. They are: Grace Marie Costello (Camanche, IA), accountancy; Justin D. Dragos (Macomb, IL), computer science; Sarah Lorice Farha (Quincy, IL), history; Erika B. Hodgson (Havana, IL), mathematics; Brieanna Leigh Korba (Collinsville, IL), biology; Jessica Elizabeth Scadden (Rock Island, IL), English; Bryan D. Schullian (Quincy, IL), agriculture; and Cody Lane Shaw (St. Augustine, IL), economics.

• The 1 p.m. Commencement ceremony will recognize undergraduate and graduate candidates for graduation in the College of Education and Human Services and the College of Fine Arts and Communication. The Honorary Doctorate will be presented to Welty, and Alumni Achievement awards will be presented to Gay (1969) and Scardina (1975).

Marshals are: Michelle Detrick (Macomb, IL), bilingual/bicultural education; Sara Elizabeth Downs (Rushville, IL), communication science and disorders; Ashley Rose Gerkin (Washington, IL), communication; Frederick Knight Hayden, Jr. (Westmont, IL), law enforcement and justice administration; Tara Leone Hinton (Geneseo, IL), elementary education; Ryan S. Parker (Arlington Heights, IL), law enforcement and justice administration; Shannon Steffen (Peoria, IL), special education; and Lauren M. White (Macomb, IL), communication science and disorders.

Flags: The flags of 18 nations represented by the Fall 2010 graduating class will be displayed on the stage. Sponsored by Western's Center for International Studies, the flags represent the following countries: Canada, China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Mexico, Nepal, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan and the United States of America. WIU was home to students from 69 countries during the Fall 2010 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 following faculty members, by ceremony:

  • 9:30 a.m. ceremony: James West, associate professor of instructional design and technology in the College of Education and Human Services; Jennifer McNabb, associate professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences; Christopher Pynes, associate professor of philosophy and religious studies in the College of Arts and Sciences; and In Lee, professor of computer science in the College of Business and Technology.
  • 1 p.m. ceremony: West; McNabb; Pamela Godt, professor of curriculum and instruction in the College of Education and Human Services; and Terry Chasteen, associate professor of music in the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

Ceremony Protocol: Western Illinois University 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 and the Alumni Association will participate, and 2010 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Don T. Johnson, professor of finance, will be recognized at each ceremony. Music will be performed by the Western Illinois University Concert Band, under the direction of Associate Director of Bands Matt Thomas. Paul Kreider, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication, will sing the National Anthem.

Live Broadcast/Web Stream: Western's University Television (UTV) will broadcast the Academic Honors Convocation and each Commencement ceremony 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 ( during the time of the ceremonies.

DVDs and Photos: DVDs of the ceremonies may be purchased through UTV, telephone (309) 298-1880. Photographs of each graduate will be taken as they receive their diploma covers. 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; seating is on a first-come basis. Doors open 90 minutes before each ceremony. An interpreter will sign each ceremony. There are a limited number of disability seats, and individuals needing special accommodations for the Macomb ceremonies should contact Western's Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, telephone (309) 298-1977. Office hours are 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. weekdays.

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