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WMU will graduate record number of students

April 21, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University will grant more than 3,200 degrees--the most in its history--during spring semester commencement ceremonies Saturday, April 29, in University Arena.

President Judith I. Bailey will preside over four ceremonies throughout the day, awarding a total of 3,206 degrees: 2,613 at the bachelor's level, 575 at the master's level and 18 at the doctoral level. The total surpasses the previous record of 2,824 degrees granted in April 2005.

This will be the first set of commencement ceremonies held in University Arena since 1992. The arena in Read Fieldhouse was the traditional site of commencement ceremonies for many years.

That facility was renovated in the early 1990s, necessitating the move of commencement to Miller Auditorium, where ceremonies have been held since 1992. Miller is unavailable this month because of the four-week run, April 19 through May 14, of "The Phantom of the Opera."

WMU's April graduates will receive their diplomas at one of the following ceremonies.

9 a.m. - College of Arts and Sciences

Noon - Colleges of Aviation, Engineering and Applied Sciences, Fine Arts, and Health and Human Services

3 p.m. - College of Education and Extended University Programs

6 p.m. - Haworth College of Business

The April commencement ceremonies will feature music by the Western Brass Ensemble, conducted by Steve Wolfinbarger. The national anthem and the alma mater will be sung by WMU's chapter of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia professional music fraternity, conducted by Brennen Kartes. Graduates will be welcomed as new alumni of the University by Dale Tanis, president of the WMU Alumni Association.

Tickets are required for guests to attend the commencement ceremonies, and each participating student is eligible to receive up to four guest tickets. Should there be extra tickets, students participating in graduation exercises may request up to two more on a first-come, first-served basis from the University Arena ticket office beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, April 28.

Guests without tickets may view the commencement ceremonies live on a television in Room 3012 of the Student Recreation Center, which is adjacent to University Arena. After all ticketed guests have been seated in the arena, any remaining open seats will be offered to those without tickets.

All four ceremonies also may be seen live online at www.wmich.edu/commencement; on Channel 7 of EduCABLE, the University's cable television system; and throughout the Kalamazoo area on one of the Community Access Cable channels (channels 19-22) on the Charter Communication cable system. Those needing help setting up their computers for online video streaming may contact WMU's Office of Information Technology at (269) 387-4357 or helpdesk@wmich.edu, during weekday business hours.

The University will be providing professional recordings of all four ceremonies on both VHS videotapes and DVDs. The recordings will cost $25 each, plus shipping and formatting fees if any, and may be ordered online as well as by calling (269) 387-5460.

In addition, a professional photographer will be taking pictures of each graduating student. Color proofs will be sent to each student, but purchase of prints is optional.

For more information about the April 29 graduation exercises and how to obtain tickets, recordings or student photos, visit www.wmich.edu/commencement.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400