MACOMB/MOLINE, IL — Ceremonies recognizing the academic and personal accomplishments of Western Illinois University students and alumni will be held Friday-Saturday, May 13-14 in Macomb and Sunday, May 15 in the Quad Cities during Western Illinois’ 2016 Spring Commencement Weekend.
The number of students eligible to participate in Spring 2015 Commencement Ceremonies is 2,273, which includes 1,810 undergraduate students, of which 137 students are in the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree program (formerly the Board of Trustees Bachelor of Arts degree program); 455 master’s-level graduate students; and eight students earning their doctorates in educational leadership (Ed.D.):
Tamara Townsend Dotson Brown (Kewanee, IL);
Phillip Jason Caposey (Oregon, IL);
Angela Marie Crotty (Tinley Park, IL);
Michelle Renee Lee (Illiopolis, IL);
Travis L. McGuire (Hinckley, IL);
Michael Schiffman (Freeport, IL);
Lyndl Ann Schuster (Northbrook, IL); and
Patricia E. Sullivan-Viniard (Burr Ridge, IL).
The outstanding accomplishments of Western Illinois University graduates Ernest J. Codilis, Jr., founder and president of Codilis & Associates, P.C., and Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, will be recognized Saturday, May 14 at Western’s Spring 2016 Commencement exercises in Western Hall. Stewart will be recognized at the 1 p.m. ceremony, while Codilis will be recognized at the 4:30 p.m. ceremony. (See http://bit.ly/23j3kEf for more information about Codilis and Stewart.)
Young Alumni Excellence Award
Western Illinois University graduate Erin Merryn has been named the recipient of the WIU Young Alumni Excellence Award. Merryn will be recognized Saturday, May 14 at the 9 a.m. Spring 2016 Commencement Exercises in Western Hall.
The Young Alumni Excellence Award is presented to an alumnus/na who has demonstrated exceptional accomplishments in his/her chosen field, exceptional service in local, state or national affairs and exceptional service in support of the advancement and continued excellence of Western, and is not yet 35 years of age.
Merryn, a 2008 social work graduate, is an author and human rights advocate. In Summer 2015, Merryn’s personal crusade to pass Erin’s Law, a law to help protect children from sexual abuse, reached a milestone when she achieved the halfway mark in her goal to get a sexual abuse prevention law passed in all 50 U.S. states. In early June 2015, the law passed in Alabama, and later that month, Alaska became the 26th state to pass a version of Erin’s Law. A bill for the law has also been proposed in 20 more states. Only four states have not introduced it. (Read more about Merryn’s accomplishments at http://bit.ly/26KO1sB.)
Macomb Honors, Commissioning and Commencement Ceremonies
Interim Provost Kathleen Neumann will serve as master of ceremonies for each ceremony. Greetings will be given by Roger Clawson, chair of the Board of Trustees, and President Jack Thomas will present remarks, “Be the One,” to the graduating class during the commencement ceremonies. WIU’s Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, Western Illinois University Professor of Psychology Sandra L. McFadden, will be recognized at each ceremony. The Western Illinois University Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Richard Hughey, will play for the Macomb ceremonies.
Events scheduled for Friday, May 13 include the following:
2 p.m. Academic Honors Convocation, Western Hall
College, Honors and Departmental Scholars and students with academic distinction based on grade point average (GPA) receive a medallion for each academic honor. President Thomas will deliver the remarks, “Take the Purple Path to Success.” Graduating senior Victoria Lynn Kappel (Orland Park, IL) is the Convocation speaker for the Macomb ceremony and will deliver her speech, “Embrace Your Connections, Your Moments, Your Future.” She will also carry the WIU gonfalon. National Anthem singer: Brandt E. Zimmermann (Kewanee, IL), Bachelor of Music, Class of 2016. Marshals are: Nicholas Breslin (Galesburg, IL); Kenneth Christine (Macomb, IL);Rebecca Dunterman (Chicago Ridge, IL); Alena Fakeri (Crystal Lake, IL); Natasha Frig (LaSalle, IL); and Anyssa Hining (Quincy, IL).
3:45 p.m. Army ROTC Commissioning, University Union Heritage Room
A total of 20 Army ROTC cadets, who have completed requirements, will be commissioned to active or reserve duty as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.
5:30 p.m. Graduate Hooding and Commencement Ceremony, Western Hall
National Anthem singer: Autumn Loose (Moline, IL), Bachelor of Fine Arts, Class of 2016. Marshals are: Melissa Downin (Macomb, IL); Emily Henkelman (Anchorage, AK); Fernando Monge (Sunny Isles Beach, FL); Stephanie Russell (Macomb, IL); Steven Schauz (Oshkosh, WI); and Jerome Scott (Harker Heights, TX).
Saturday, May 14 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies, Western Hall
To find the list of majors by college, go to wiu.edu/commencement/majors.php.
During the 9 a.m. ceremony, candidates in the College of Business and Technology (CBT), College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) and several College of Education and Human Services’ departments (including: Athletic Training, Bilingual/Bicultural Education, Elementary Education, Exercise Science, Media and Instructional Technology, Physical Education K–12 and Special Education) will be recognized. National Anthem singer: Brandt E. Zimmermann (Kewanee, IL), Bachelor of Music, Class of 2016.
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. Marshals are: Jumanah Hashim Alsaihati (Saudi Arabia); Courtney E. Benge (Rockford, IL); Baylee Jill Derham (Knoxville, IL);Shyenne Horras (Machesney Park, IL); Megan Marie Opiekun (Burlington, IA); Jacob Smith (Macomb, IL); Rebecca Catherine Young (Saint Jacob, IL); and Kara Leigh Ziegler (Orland Park, IL).
During the 1 p.m. ceremony, the remainder of candidates in the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) departments (including Apparel and Textile Merchandising, Dietetics, Emergency Management; Family and Consumer Sciences; Fire Protection Services; Health Services Management; Hospitality Management, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration; Nutrition and Foodservice Management, Public Health; Recreation Park and Tourism Administration; and Social Work) will be recognized. National Anthem singer: Autumn Loose (Moline, IL), Bachelor of Fine Arts, Class of 2016. Marshals are: Emily Ellsworth (Canton, IL); Kathryn E. Fowler (Milan, IL); Jenna Rae Griffith (Dixon, IL); Claire Elaine Jarrell (Orland Park, IL); Sarah J. Lawrence (Homewood, IL); Jacob Eugene Osman (Williamsville, IL); Dustin Clay Rhoades (Beardstown, IL); and Samantha L. San Miguel (West Chicago, IL).
During the 4:30 p.m. ceremony, candidates in the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies (BGS) degree program, the Interdisciplinary Studies Program and the College of Arts and Sciences will be recognized. National Anthem singer: Corrin Sanders (Calumet Park, IL), Bachelor of Arts, Class of 2016. Marshals are: Kirsten A. Belisle(Roscoe, IL); Morgan Whitney Conrady (Lincoln, IL); Hannah Fay Drake (Charleston, IL); Julie Laurel Marlena Frohn (Quincy, IL); Justin Kim (Deerfield, IL); Lindsey Emma Kuitse (Colorado Springs, CO); Sarah Elizabeth Nielsen (Hanover Park, IL); and Jenni Kristine Winbigler (Macomb, IL).
Sunday, May 15 Quad Cities – Honors and Combined Ceremonies, iWireless Center, Moline
12 p.m., WIU-QC Academic Honors Convocation
College, Honors and Departmental Scholars and students with academic distinction based on grade point average (GPA) receive a medallion for each academic honor. President Thomas will deliver the remarks, “Take the Purple Path to Success.” Graduating senior Kimberly Leiphon (Bettendorf, IA) is the convocation speaker for the WIU-QC ceremony and will deliver her speech, “These Paths.”
1 p.m., WIU-QC Combined Graduate and Undergraduate Commencement
Interim Provost Kathleen Neumann will serve as master of ceremonies for each ceremony. Greetings will be given by Roger Clawson, chair of the Board of Trustees, and President Jack Thomas will present remarks, “Be the One” to the graduating class. National Anthem singer: Benjamin A. Rogers (Savanna, IL), Bachelor of Fine Arts, Class of 2017. Marshals are: Nastasha Chandrasekharan (Sri Lanka); Amber DiCosola (Lombard, IL); Jennifer Evans (Iowa City, IA); Autumn Hutton (Albany, IL); and Kellie Larrabee (Raleigh, NC).
The Western Illinois University Brass Ensemble, under the direction of School of Music Professor Randall Faust, will play for the WIU-QC ceremonies. Members include:Michelle Bingheim (Quincy, IL), trumpet; Brittney McDaniel (Chicago, IL), trumpet; Austin Dunaway (Peoria, IL), trumpet; Tyler Davis (Oswego, IL), horn; Abigail Dominis (Ottawa, IL), trombone; and Darin McDonald (Quincy, IL), bass trombone.
The flags of 27 nations representing the Spring 2016 graduating class will be displayed on the stage. Sponsored by Western’s Center for International Studies, the flags represent the following countries: Burundi, Canada, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom and the United States.
Western was home to students from 56 countries during the Spring 2016 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 faculty members listed below.
At each WIU-Macomb commencement ceremony, the WIU gonfalon will be carried by Rafael Obregon, associate professor of engineering technology, College of Business and Technology.
Friday, May 13
5:30 p.m. – Katharine Pawelko, professor of recreation, park and tourism administration, College of Education and Human Services (will carry the School of Graduate Studies gonfalon)
Saturday, May 14
9 a.m. — Bree McEwan, associate professor of communication, College of Fine Arts and Communication
Justin Ehrlich, assistant professor of computer science, College of Business and Technology
Gary Daytner, associate professor of educational studies, College of Education and Human Services
1 p.m. — Gary Daytner, associate professor of educational studies, College of Education and Human Services
4:30 p.m. — Tawnya Adkins Covert, professor of sociology, College of Arts and Sciences.
For WIU-QC, 1 p.m. Sunday, May 15 (iWireless Center)
Kristi S. Mindrup, assistant vice president for academic affairs, WIU gonfalon
Lloyd C. Kilmer, assistant dean, College of Education and Human Services, School of Graduate Studies
Susan C. Brooks, assistant professor of mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences
Padmaja Pillutla, associate professor of finance, College of Business and Technology
Georg Gunzenhauser, professor of educational studies, College of Education and Human Services
Brendan Young, assistant professor of communication, College of Fine Arts and Communication