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More than 2,200 students graduate Saturday

Dec. 13, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University will grant degrees to more than 2,200 students during three commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 16, in Miller Auditorium.

Interim President Diether H. Haenicke will preside over the first and third ceremonies while Provost Janet I. Pisaneschi will preside over the second ceremony.

Leading off the day's graduation exercises will be a ceremony at 9 a.m. for graduates of the College of Education and Extended University Programs.

The second ceremony, set for noon, will be for graduates of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, College of Health and Human Services, and Haworth College of Business.

The final ceremony at 3 p.m. will be for graduates of the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, and Fine Arts. This ceremony will include the presentation of honorary degrees to Judge Richard A. Enslen, a renowned West Michigan legal figure, and Jacqueline Buck Mallinson, a scholar who helped build WMU's science research and graduate capabilities.

Enslen will receive an honorary Doctor of Law degree. He is senior judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. Mallinson will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science degree. She retired from WMU in 1988 after a decades-long career in science education.

During the Dec. 16 graduation exercises, the University will confer an estimated 2,246 degrees: 1,707 at the bachelor's level, 483 at the master's level and 47 at the doctoral level. It is believed that more doctoral-level students will graduate on Saturday than have graduated at one time since WMU began granting doctoral degrees in 1968.

Of the students earning doctorates, 32 finished their degree requirements at the end of the current semester. Another 15, including the first student to complete the University's Doctor of Audiology program, finished their degree requirements in August--too late to be eligible to attend WMU's June graduation exercises. In comparison, the University granted a total of 68 doctoral degrees during all three graduation exercises held during the 2005-06 academic year.

The Dec. 16 graduation exercises 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 Kirk Hoffman, 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-serve basis from the Miller Auditorium box office beginning 8 a.m. Friday, Dec. 15.

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.

All three December ceremonies will be broadcast live on EduCABLE Channel 7, 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.

Live Internet broadcasts of the ceremonies will be available online the day of graduation. Those needing help setting up their computers for online video streaming may contact WMU's Office of Information Technology weekdays at helpdesk@wmich.edu or (269) 387-4357.

The University will be providing professional recordings of the December ceremonies 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.

More information about graduation exercises and how to obtain tickets, recordings or student photos is available at 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