WMU News

Four commencement ceremonies set for April 21

April 11, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Nearly 2,400 degrees will be awarded to new graduates as Western Michigan University, for the first time, holds four separate commencement ceremonies Saturday, April 21.

WMU President Elson S. Floyd will preside over all four ceremonies in Miller Auditorium. During one of those ceremonies, at 2:30 p.m., WMU will honor Donald Gilmer, commissioner of the Michigan Bureau of State Lottery and a former state representative. He will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree.

The day's first ceremony, at 9 a.m., is for graduates of the Haworth College of Business and the General University Studies Program. The Rev. Kenneth Schmidt of St. Thomas More Student Parish, will give the invocation and benediction.

The second ceremony, at 11:30 a.m., is for graduates of the College of Aviation, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the College of Fine Arts, and the College of Health and Human Services. The Rev. David Swartz of Bethel Baptist Church in Roseville, Mich., will give the invocation and benediction. His daughter, Karen Owen, is graduating with high honors, having earned a bachelor's degree in social work.

The third ceremony, at 2:30 p.m., is for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences. The Rev. Glenn Wegner of Baseline United Methodist Church in Battle Creek, Mich., will give the invocation and benediction. His daughter, Virginia Bosher, is getting a bachelor's degree in biology. In addition, Gilmer will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree during this ceremony.

The fourth ceremony, at 5:30 p.m., is for graduates of the College of Education. The Rev. Carol Amos, chaplain at Borgess Hospital and a student graduating with a master's degree in educational leadership, will give the invocation and benediction.

A total of 2,377 graduates will receive degrees, including 1,860 who will earn bachelor's degrees, 502 who will receive master's degrees and 15 who will be awarded doctoral degrees. WMU also holds commencement exercises in June and December.

The Western Brass Ensemble conducted by Steve M. Wolfinberger, associate professor of music, will perform music for the ceremonies. The national anthem and the alma mater will be sung by WMU's chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia professional music fraternity conducted by Anthony Funaro. Graduates will be welcomed as new alumni of the University by Jeanne Carlson, president of the WMU Alumni Association, at the 9 and 11:30 a.m. ceremonies, and by Gary Brown, Portage mayor, at the 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. ceremonies.

Tickets are required for guests to attend the ceremonies and each participating graduate is eligible to receive up to five guest tickets.

Guests without tickets may view the exercises on a large-screen television in Room 3512 of Knauss Hall. Each ceremony will also be carried live on Channel 7 of EduCABLE, the University's cable television system, and on Channel 19 of the Charter Communication cable system. In addition, video of the commencement may also be viewed online at the time of the ceremonies and for 30 days afterward. The Web address for online viewing is <www.wmich.edu/commencement>.

University Video Services provides an opportunity for persons to purchase videotapes of any of the four ceremonies. Orders may be placed by calling (616) 387-5003. The tapes are $20 each.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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