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Summer commencement set for Saturday

June 28, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University will award nearly 1,600 degrees during summer commencement ceremonies Saturday, July 1, in Miller Auditorium.

President Judith I. Bailey will preside over two ceremonies during the day, awarding 1,575 degrees: 1,123 at the bachelor's level, 435 at the master's level and 17 at the doctoral level.

The first ceremony will start at 9 a.m. and is for graduates of the College of Education, the College of Fine Arts, Extended University Programs, and the Haworth College of Business.

The second ceremony will start at noon and is for graduates of the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Health and Human Services.

Two honorary degrees are being conferred in connection with summer commencement. They will be officially presented July 3 in Prague to Vaclav Havel and Arnost Lustig.

Havel led the bloodless revolution that brought down Czechoslovakia's communist regime and afterward, became the country's president, a post he was elected to twice and served in for more than a decade. A U.S. Medal of Honor winner and playwright of international renown, he has been on the short list several times for the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Nobel Peace Prize.

Lustig, too, was an anti-communist activist in Czechoslovakia and a short list selection for the Nobel Prize for Literature. A Holocaust survivor, he eventually immigrated to the United States. Lustig is a professor of film and literature at American University in Washington, D.C., and has won an Emmy. He founded the Czech New Wave cinema and has been a faculty member of WMU's Prague Summer Program since this creative writing program began 13 years ago.

The July 1 graduation exercises on campus will feature music by organist Karl Schrock. 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 six 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 Miller Auditorium box office beginning 8 a.m. Friday, June 30.

After all ticketed guests have been seated in Miller, any remaining open seats will be offered to those without tickets. Guests without tickets may view the commencement ceremonies live on a television in Room 3512 Knauss Hall, which is near Miller.

Both July 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 on weekdays by calling (269) 387-4357 or sending e-mail to helpdesk@wmich.edu.

The University will be providing professional recordings of summer commencement on DVD and VHS videotape. The recordings will cost $25 each, plus shipping and formatting fees if any, and may be ordered by calling (269) 387-0459.

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

For more information about the July 1 graduation exercises and how to obtain tickets, recordings or student photos, visit www.wmich.edu/commencement.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
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