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Fall 2012 Honors, Commencement Ceremonies Dec. 14-15

December 5, 2012

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MACOMB, IL – Ceremonies recognizing the academic and personal accomplishments of Western Illinois University students and alumni will be held Friday-Saturday, Dec. 14-15 in Macomb during Western's Fall 2012 Commencement Weekend.

On Friday, Dec. 14, at 5:30 p.m. the Academic Honors Convocation will be held in Western Hall. This ceremony recognizes college scholars, departmental scholars, honors scholars and candidates who have earned academic distinction throughout their Western Illinois University undergraduate careers. Students receive a medallion for each honor, which they wear at Saturday's Commencement ceremonies.

The number of students eligible to participate in Fall 2012 Commencement Ceremonies—scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 in Western Hall—is 1,080, which includes nearly 824 undergraduate students, of which 74 students are in the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree program (formerly the Board of Trustees Bachelor of Arts degree program), as well as 254 master's-level graduate students and two students earning their doctorate degrees in educational leadership (Ed.D.), Debbra Louise Martin (Streator, IL) and Laura Lynn Nelson (Galena, IL). The combined ceremonies will include presenting graduating seniors their diploma covers and hooding graduate-degree candidates.

Alumni Achievement awards will be presented to six individual honorees: John B. Henderson ('73 management, '76 business administration), president and CEO of Frank Lynn & Associates; Pamela S. Hoffman ('70 English), English faculty member at Oakland Community College; Craig R. Neader ('75 accountancy), founder and owner of The Neader Financial Group; William J. Paulding ('93 communication, '95 educational and interdisciplinary studies), founder of STAFFLOGIX Corporation; Michael D. Shonrock ('79 geography, '81 college student personnel); and Carin Stutz ('78 home economics), chief executive officer of Cosi, Inc. (See for more information.)

Commencement Ceremonies

The 9:30 a.m. Commencement ceremony will recognize graduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business and Technology and undergraduate students in those two colleges plus in the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies and in Interdisciplinary Studies. Henderson, Hoffman and Neader will receive their Alumni Achievement awards.

Marshals, who are graduating seniors selected from the top scholars earning high academic distinction, guide the graduating class, faculty and stage party from the processional to the recessional. They are: Sarah Kirsten Anderson (Muscatine, IA), agriculture major; Courtney R.D. Cluney (Glasford, IL), biology major; Dylan William O'Meara (Crestwood, IL), construction management major; Brennan Paul Parks (Table Grove, IL), computer science major; Brittany Marie Pieper (Bushnell, IL), agriculture major; Maureen Jeanette Robinson (Cordova, IL), accountancy major; Kristen Sherie Stradt (Geneseo, IL), English major; and Alyse Marie Thompson (West Chicago, IL), journalism major and spanish major.

The 1 p.m. Commencement ceremony will recognize the Doctorate in Educational Leadership candidates and graduate and undergraduate candidates in the College of Education and Human Services and the College of Fine Arts and Communication. Paulding, Shonrock and Stutz will receive their Alumni Achievement awards.

Marshals are: Hannah S. Chapin (Colchester, IL), communication sciences and disorders major; Allison S. Christopoulos (Elgin, IL), recreation, park and tourism administration major; Dawn Sue Gale (Galva, IL), elementary education major; Shelby Jo Hawkins (Atlanta, IL), law enforcement and justice administration major; Daniela Medina Elizondo (Chicago, IL), theatre major; Shannon Redini (Glen Ellyn, IL), elementary education major; Thomas J. Reeder (Bolingbrook, IL), music education major; and Steven Solomon (Chicago, IL), music education major.

International Flags

The flags of 15 nations represented by the 2012 fall graduating class will be displayed on the stage. Sponsored by Western's Center for International Studies, the flags represent the following countries: China, Georgia, India, Iran, Japan, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sudan, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkmenistan and the United States of America. WIU was home to students from 59 countries during the 2012 fall semester.

Gonfalons and Gonfaloniers

Gonfalons, which are banners hung from a crossbar on poles, made their inaugural appearance in the Fall 2009 Commencement ceremonies. Western Illinois University gonfalons are for the School of Graduate Studies, as well as for each of the four academic colleges: Arts and Sciences (white); Business and Technology (royal blue); Education and Human Services (UN blue); and Fine Arts and Communication (spice brown). Those who are chosen to carry the gonfalons are called gonfaloniers. This honor has been awarded to the following faculty members by ceremony:

9:30 a.m. Ceremony

Erin Taylor, associate professor of political science, College of Arts and Sciences; Brian Locke, associate professor of music, College of Fine Arts and Communication; Richard Musser, professor of biological sciences, College of Arts and Sciences; and Shane Sanders, assistant professor of economics and decision sciences, College of Arts and Sciences.

1 p.m. Ceremony

Erin Taylor, associate professor of political science, College of Arts and Sciences; Brian Locke, associate professor of music, College of Fine Arts and Communication; Todd Lough, associate professor of law enforcement and justice administration, College of Education and Human Services; and Tammie Walker, professor of music, College of Fine Arts and Communication.

Ceremony Protocol

Western Illinois University Provost and Academic Vice President Ken Hawkinson will lead the Commencement ceremonies and President Jack Thomas will confer degrees and make remarks to the graduating classes. Members of Western's Board of Trustees and the Alumni Association will participate, and 2012 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer T.K. Vinod, professor of chemistry, will be recognized at each ceremony. The Western Illinois University Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Mike Fansler, will perform the music and James Anderson (Bolingbrook, IL), a senior music education major, will sing the National Anthem at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony, and Therese Anne Pircon, a music-vocal performance major and a 2012 bachelor's degree candidate, will sing the National Anthem at the 1 p.m. ceremony.

Live Broadcast/Web Stream

Western's University Television (UTV) will broadcast the Academic Honors Convocation and each Commencement ceremony live on Macomb's cable channel 3. The Macomb ceremonies will also be streamed live on the web. A link to the web broadcast will be available from Western's homepage ( during the time of the ceremonies.

DVDs and Photos

DVDs of the ceremonies may be purchased through UTV, telephone (309) 298-1880. Photographs of each graduate will be taken as they receive their diploma covers. Proof sheets will be mailed from Western's Visual Production Center to each graduate, with instructions for ordering photos.

Open Ceremonies; ADA Requests

Ceremonies are open to family and friends of the graduates. Tickets are not required; seating is on a first come basis. Doors open 90 minutes before each ceremony. An interpreter will sign each ceremony. There are a limited number of disability seats, and individuals needing special accommodations for the ceremonies should contact Western's Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, telephone (309) 298-1977. Office hours are 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

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