WMU News

Near-record number of grads to get degrees

April 18, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- The third largest class of graduates in the history of Western Michigan University will receive degrees during commencement ceremonies Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27, at Miller Auditorium.

President Elson S. Floyd will preside over four ceremonies.

Friday, April 26

A ceremony at 8 p.m. will be held for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences. Pastor Ron DeYoung of the Bronco Ministry at Kanley Chapel will give the invocation and benediction.

Saturday, April 27

A ceremony at 8:30 a.m. is scheduled for graduates of the Haworth College of Business and the University's General University Studies program. Pastor J. Louis Felton of Galilee Missionary Baptist Church will give the invocation and benediction.

An 11 a.m. ceremony is set for graduates of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the College of Aviation, the College of Fine Arts and the College of Health and Human Services. Father Kenneth Schmidt of St. Thomas More Student Parish will give the invocation and benediction.

A final Saturday ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. for graduates of the College of Education. Father Schmidt also will give the invocation and benediction at this ceremony.

A total of 2,567 graduates will receive their degrees, a number that is just seven shy of the last record commencement class of 2,574, set in April 1996. The largest class ever to graduate from WMU was 2,659 in August 1972.

This commencement, a total of 2,408 graduates will receive bachelor's degrees, 505 will be awarded master's degrees, 13 will earn doctoral degrees and one will receive a specialist degree. WMU also holds commencement exercises in June and December.

The Western Brass Ensemble, conducted by Steve Wolfinberger, 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 Sean Closz. Graduates will be welcomed as new alumni of the University by Nolan W. Fisher, president of the WMU Alumni Association.

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

Guests without tickets may view the exercises on a large-screen television in Room 3512 of Knauss Hall. Each ceremony also will 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 via the commencement Web site, <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 (269) 387-5003. The tapes are $20 each.

Visit the Commencement Web site for more information.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 269 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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