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WIU's 2011 Fall Honors, Commencement Ceremonies December 16-17

December 12, 2011

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MACOMB, IL – Ceremonies recognizing the academic and personal accomplishments of Western Illinois University students and alumni will be held Friday-Saturday, Dec. 16-17 in Macomb during Western's 2011 Fall Commencement Weekend.

On Friday, Dec. 16, Western's military science department will commission two Army ROTC students to second lieutenants at 4 p.m. in the University Union Prairie Lounge. At 5:30 p.m. the Academic Honors Convocation will be held in Western Hall. 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.

More than 1,225 students, which includes nearly 950 undergraduate students of which some 85 students are in the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree program (formerly the Board of Trustees Bachelor of Arts degree program), and approximately 280 master's-level graduate students and two students earning their Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) – Dan Jecks (Silvas, IL) and Lisa Marie Parker (Edelstein, IL) – are eligible to participate in Commencement Ceremonies scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 in Western Hall. 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: Regina Young Hyatt ('94 political science, '97 college student personnel), the dean of students at The University of Alabama in Huntsville; Mark Konkol ('95 communication), Chicago Sun-Times writer and Pulitzer Prize winner; and Jim Krasula ('79 broadcasting), a member of the CBS Radio News Network and recipient of many Edward R. Murrow awards. (See
for more information and photos.)

Commencement Ceremonies
The 9:30 a.m. Commencement ceremony will recognize graduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business and Technology and undergraduate students in those two colleges plus in the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies and in Interdisciplinary Studies. Hyatt will receive the Alumni Achievement award.

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. They are: Megan K. Barnett (Brookfield, IL), English education major; Josie Elizabeth Holst (Augusta, IL), graphic communication major; Nicholas William James Francis Jackson (Posen, IL), construction management major; Brittany Jean James (Hannibal, MO), agriculture major; Shelby Lyn Lueders (Clinton, IA), biology major; Franck Olivier Ndjakou Njeunje (Yaounde, Cameroon), mathematics major and the College of Arts and Sciences Scholar; Katlin M. Stein (Lockport, IL), Spanish major; and Julia Grace Wiederholt (Clinton, IA), biology major.

The 1 p.m. Commencement ceremony will recognize the Doctorate in Educational Leadership candidates and graduate and undergraduate candidates in the College of Education and Human Services and the College of Fine Arts and Communication. Konkol and Krasula will receive their Alumni Achievement awards.

Marshals are: Adrianna Nicole Bennett (Pesotum, IL), music education major; Ashley S. Emberton (Canton, IL), elementary education major; Kyle J. Glazier (Geneseo, IL), law enforcement and justice administration major; Katelyn Rose Kratz (Channahon, IL), music major and the College of Fine Arts and Communication Scholar; Crystal Lynn Loyd (Peoria, IL), emergency management major; Ashlee M. Miller (Springfield, OH), communication sciences and disorders major; Paul Albert Strater (Oswego, IL), broadcasting major; and Julianne Lesley Teerlinck (Orion, IL), elementary education major.

International Flags: The flags of 16 nations represented by the 2011 fall graduating class will be displayed on the stage. Sponsored by Western's Center for International Studies, the flags represent the following countries: Afghanistan, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, Greece, India, Jamaica, Japan, Mauritius, Nepal, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States of America. WIU was home to students from 64 countries during the 2011 fall 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: Jamie Johnson, professor of health sciences, College of Education and Human Services; Kimberley McClure, professor of psychology, College of Arts and Sciences; Christopher Sutton, professor of geography, College of Arts and Sciences; and Marietta Loehrlein, professor of agriculture, College of Business and Technology.

1 p.m. ceremony: Jamie Johnson; Kimberley McClure; William "Buzz" Hoon, interim chair of broadcasting, College of Fine Arts and Communication; and Renee Polubinsky, associate professor, kinesiology, College of Education and Human Services.

Ceremony Protocol: Western Illinois University Interim Provost and Academic Vice President Ken Hawkinson will lead the Commencement ceremonies and President Jack Thomas will confer degrees and make remarks to the graduating classes. Members of Western's Board of Trustees and the Alumni Association will participate, and 2011 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer J.Q. Adams, professor of educational and interdisciplinary studies, will be recognized at each ceremony. The Western Illinois Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Richard Hughey, will perform the music and Laura Dittmar (Elizabeth, IL), a senior music-vocal performance major, 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 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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