WMU News

More than 2,000 students to receive degrees

Dec. 5, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- More than 2,000 degrees will be awarded to new graduates by Western Michigan University in commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 14.

President Elson S. Floyd will preside over three ceremonies in Miller Auditorium.

The day's first ceremony, at 9 a.m., is for graduates of the Haworth College of Business and the colleges of Aviation and Engineering and Applied Sciences. The Reverend J. Louis Felton of Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Kalamazoo will give the invocation and benediction.

The second ceremony, at noon, is for graduates of the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Fine Arts, and Health and Human Services. At the noon ceremony, the University will confer an honorary doctor of public service degree on state Sen. Harry Gast, recognizing his many years of service as a lawmaker. The Reverend Dr. B. Margaret Voss of Rockford, Mich., will give the invocation and benediction. Voss's granddaughter, Krysten Voss, is receiving a bachelor's degree in religion.

The third ceremony, at 2:30 p.m., is for graduates of the College of Education and the General University Studies program. Outgoing WMU President Elson S. Floyd will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree at the ceremony, in recognition of his service to the University. Dr. Russell Palsrok of the Rochester Christian Reformed Church in Rochester, N.Y., will give the invocation and benediction. Palsrok's daughter, Robyn Geelhoed, is receiving a doctoral degree in counseling psychology.

A total of 2,028 graduates will receive degrees, including 1,523 who will earn bachelor's degrees, 477 who will receive master's degrees and 28 who will be awarded doctoral degrees. Graduates who earned degrees at the conclusion of the summer session in August also will participate in the ceremonies. WMU also holds commencement exercises in April and June.

The Western Brass Ensemble, conducted by Steve Wolfinbarger, 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 Kenneth Miller, vice president of the WMU Alumni Association, at the 9 a.m. ceremony; by Lynn Kellogg, a member of the Alumni Association's executive committee, at the noon ceremony; and by Anitta Orr, a member of the Alumni Association's executive committee, at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.

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 22 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 (269) 387-5003. The tapes are $20 each.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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