Dec. 3, 1999
KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University will award 1,956 degrees during commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 11, that also will honor WMU alumni James Paul Hickey, an ABC News correspondent, and Charles Perricone, speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives.
There will be three ceremonies in Miller Auditorium.
The first, at 9 a.m., is for graduates of the Haworth College of Business, the College of Fine Arts and the College of Health and Human Services. Elder Theotius Thomas of the Pentecostal Church of God in Jackson, Mich., will give the invocation and benediction. His daughter, Mytheia Thomas, is graduating with a bachelor's degree in business administration.
The second ceremony, at 11:30 a.m., is for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Aviation, and the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Rev. Robert Beyer of Ludington, Mich., will give the invocation and benediction. His daughter, Lara Beyer, is graduating with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.
The third ceremony, at 2 p.m., is for graduates of the College of Education and the General University Studies Program. Pastor James Riley of New Hope Assembly of God Church in Three Rivers, Mich., will give the invocation and benediction. His wife, Melissa Riley, is graduating with a bachelor's degree in elementary education.
Both Perricone and Hickey will receive honorary doctor of public service degrees. Perricone, a 1989 graduate, will be honored at the 9 a.m. ceremony. Hickey, a 1969 alumnus, will receive his degree at the 11:30 a.m. ceremony.
Among this fall's graduates will be 1,488 who will receive bachelor's degrees, 450 master's and specialist degree recipients, and 18 who will be awarded doctoral degrees.
Guest tickets will not be required to attend the ceremonies. If the auditorium fills to capacity, guests may view commencement on a large-screen television in Room 3512 of Knauss Hall. All three ceremonies also will be shown live on channel 7 of EduCABLE, the campus cable system, and on Community Access Center channel 30.
This year, for the first time, video of the commencement may also be viewed online at the time of the ceremonies and for 30 days after the ceremony. The site address is <www.wmich.edu/wmu/commencement>.
The Western Brass Ensemble will perform music and WMU's chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia will sing the National Anthem and the alma mater at all three ceremonies. William Higley, president of the WMU Alumni Association, will welcome graduates as new alumni of the University.
Media contact: Mike Matthews, 616 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org
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